Stocks Rally, Apple Up 7%

The Dow and the Nasdaq both went into rally mode today, with the Dow closing over the psychologically important 10,000 mark. The Nasdaq too climbed, closing over the 1800 mark. Hardware stocks gained across the board, helped in part by news from Western Digital that they would, gasp, exceed their earlier guidance. According to a report from CBS Marketwatch:

Sales for the period are now expected to be approximately $530 million, with a net loss between $7 million and $10 million, or 4 cents to 6 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial predicted Western Digital would lose 8 cents a share in the period.

That helped fuel a rally that had begun during morning trading after the European markets had staged their own rally. Tech stocks lead the way as many analysts started referring to tech stocks as being "oversold." If that is the case, and only time will tell, that would mean that the markets had finally reached a bottom. According to a report from CBS Marketwatch:

"Most investors are seeing through the negative earnings and theyire really looking selectively at valuation primarily and establishing positions on weakness in the hopes that youill see a late i01 rebound," remarked Jesse Soto, a senior securities analyst at Highmark Capital Management in Los Angeles.

Volume on the Dow and the Nasdaq were both on the moderately strong side, especially when compared to yesterdayis anemic numbers. This lends a modicum of weight to whether or not this was a convincing rally. A negative announcement this afternoon or tomorrow could turn it right back around.

Enter Motorola. The company reported their March quarter results a few minutes ago. According to a Reuters report:

Motorola said it lost $206 million from ongoing operations in the first quarter, or 9 cents a share, excluding special items, compared with a profit of $481 million, or 21 cents, a year ago.

Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss between a penny and 14 cents according to market research firm Thomson Financial/First Call. The wireless communications and semiconductor giant warned in February it could report a first-quarter loss if an economic slowdown persisted.

The loss, the first in 16 calendar years, was wider than expected, as was the revenue decrease. CNBC is reporting that the loss had been expected to come in at 7 cents a share. The company has been hurt in its cell phone market, and according to reports in the weeks leading up this announcement, that is a big part of both pieces of bad news. Look for this to have a dampening effect on the tech markets. MOT is trading lower in after hours trading. CBS Marketwatch has a more in-depth report.

All of the stocks we track in the Stock Watch closed higher today, with increases ranging from 3.18% to 21.6%.

Apple followed the upward trend. The stock posted a 7% gain on moderate volume. AAPL opened up a half point higher and kept climbing all day. The stock bounced off of the days highs in the last half hour of trading, but still gained 1.50. The days range was 20.78 - 22.70.

Apple closed at 22.04, a gain of 1.50 (+7.30%), on moderate volume of 8,166,700 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1852.03, up 106.32 (+6.09%), on volume of 2,203,633,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10102.74, a gain of 246.72 (+2.51%), on volume of 1,351,125,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1168.38, up 30.79 (+2.71%).

Akamai closed at 8.67, our strongest percentage gain of the day, up 1.54 (+21.60%), on volume of 2,691,400 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 41.36, up 5.53 (+15.43%), its second strong gain in as many days, on strong volume of 12,249,400 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 99.05, a gain of 3.05 (+3.18%), on strong volume of 10,498,700 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 13.00, up 1.50 (+13.04%), on heavy volume of 38,414,500 shares trading hands.

Earthlink closed at 12.35, a gain of 0.61 (+5.20%), on light volume of 1,377,900 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 15.48, a gain of 0.83 (+5.67%), on volume of 2,603,000 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 26.26, a gain of 1.37 (+5.50%), on strong volume of 46,117,000 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 24.77, a gain of 1.57 (+6.77%), on strong volume of 55,825,600 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 59.68, a gain of 2.53 (+4.43%), on strong volume of 54,589,500 shares trading hands.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report. You can also check out our Apple Financial Boards, a new moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings.