Tech Rally Send Apple Higher

The markets rallied today after the semiconductor firm Xilinx reaffirmed guidance for the current quarter. The company also reported slowing rates of cancellations. Wall Street is excited by this because it hopefully indicates stronger underlying basics in the economy. From a Reuters report:

"This market has been priced for bad news so at any hint of good news, the market reacts positively," said Nick Angilletta, head of retail sales and trading at investment firm Salomon Smith Barney. "Thereis a change of focus, at least in the short term. Funds are taking money out of those (blue chip) names and putting it back into tech."

From a separate Reuters report:

"Thereis a growing optimism that weive pretty much hit the bottom, so people are not really paying attention to the (bad) news," said Edgar Peters, chief investment strategist at Boston-based PanAgora Asset Management Inc. "Theyive already taken it into account and now itis time to look forward and they think things are going to be better."

Tech stocks lead the rally, with all but one of the stocks we track in the Apple Stock closing in the black. Volume was semi-healthy in both the Dow and the Nasdaq with 1.1 billion and 1.8 billion shares trading hands respectively.

<MINI-RANT>The pinheads at Yahoo! Finance Vision have an article titled "New Technology: Generation iXi Operating Systems May Cause Havoc!" We donit know what itis about, and that is why we hurl the dreaded "pinhead" epithet. Yahoo! Finance Vision is not viewable in IE in either Classic or Mac OS X. The site is supposedly viewable in Netscape 4.7x on the Mac, but we were not able to actually view the video section. It did open two windows the full 1600 pixels across on our screen, while leaving the content squished in the middle, but whois counting? That site is a reflection of lazy developers who did not seek out the proper solutions for delivering their content, and itis just sad. The company obviously feels that the story is important to Apple investors, but canit be bothered to do more than a half-assed job at delivering their content to Mac users.</MINI-RANT>

Gatewayis CEO Ted Waitt is being compared to Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, in an article in the Wall Street Journal. The comparison derives from the fact that both men took over the troubled companies they founded after an absence, and the article suggests that Mr. Waitt can pull it off like Mr. Jobs did. Itis an interesting read, for those who care about Gateway. Gatewayis stock closed higher in light volume.

In the world of Internet Appliances, Compaq slashed the price of its iPaq products by US$200 to US$299. The company is also giving away 6 months of MSN with each unit. Compaq also removed a restriction that required an iPaq-specific flavor of MSN to get connectivity with the units. In related news, HP has overtaken Compaq as the #1 vendor of home computer sales according to IDC. Compaq closed up at 16.11, a gain of 0.18 (+1.13%).

Apple was up and down today, but the stock traded in moderately strong volume and closed higher. AAPL opened slightly higher, dipped into Negativeland, jumped higher, fell back again, and the steadily climbed towards a close that was just off the dayis highs. The dayis range was 20.35 - 21.10.

Apple closed at 20.94, up 0.28 (+1.36%), on moderately strong volume of 8,424,900 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2233.66 , higher by 77.73 (+3.61%), on volume of 1,845,059,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 11175.84, a gain of 114.32 (+1.03%), on volume of 1,115,717,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1283.57, a gain of 16.46 (+1.30%).

Adobe closed at 41.68, up 1.35 (3.35%), on light volume of 2,566,000 shares trading hands.

Akamai closed at 10.13, down 2 cents (-0.20%), on strong volume of 3,428,500 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink closed at 14.40, up 0.63 (+4.58%), on volume of 2,216,400 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 116.97, up 3.33 (+2.93%), on light volume of 6,153,900 shares trading hands.

Macromedia closed at 24, up 1.49 (+6.62%), on light volume of 843,700 shares trading hands.

Motorola is claiming increased market share in the handset market. MOT closed at 15.24, up 0.98 (+6.87%), on light volume of 6,008,100 shares trading hands.

Dell gets taken to task by the Motley Fool for some numbers it claimed in its return on capital investments. DELL closed at 26.22, a gain of 1.22 (+4.88%), on light volume of 31,100,700 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 16.87, up 0.19 (+1.14%), on light volume of 2,285,000 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 29.73, a gain of 1.23 (+4.32%), on volume of 51,624,600 shares trading hands.

Microsoft announced a new partnership with Nortel that is aimed at putting Microsoftis operating systems and related software in charge of more Internet infrastructure. Hooray. MSFT closed at 72.60, higher by 1.82 (+2.57%), on strong volume of 44,723,200 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.