Tech Stocks Rally, Apple Closes Above 20

The long parade of poor earnings reports and earnings warnings that has so effectively dragged tech stocks down made its most important mark felt today when one company beating the Street singlehandedly sparked a broad-based rally. Optical networking company Ciena posted 1st quarter results of 18 cents a share, beating expectations of 15 cents a share, and the markets breathed a big sigh of relief in the form of a rally. The rally continued in anticipation of results from Dell and Hewlett Packard.

After the bell, Dell posted earnings of 18 cents a share that were a penny short of Street estimates, but within the 18 cent to 19 cent range offered by the company in recent guidance. The company also announced they would be cutting some 1,700 jobs. HP, on the other hand, met lowered expectations in the midst of plunging revenues.

Apple participated in the rally, trading in positive territory throughout the dayis session, and closing above the US$20 support level for the first time since February 9th. Apple was in the news today mainly because of Steve Jobsi other job, Pixar, which got a nice write up from the Wall Street Journal. Apple also had the distinction of being mentioned as the only company that had licensed Amazonis patented "One-Click Ordering Technology." That patent met its first legal setback as Barnes & Noble had an injunction prohibiting them from using the technology overturned. That patent has been widely criticized as being frivolous and will likely be overturned at some point.

Speaking of Amazon, the company canit catch a break of late. Harshly criticized for years for not turning a profit, the company is now being harshly criticized for declaring they would be turn a profit in one year. It seems that now, the clear advice from the sidelines is to continue to go for market share in the online retailing space. Analysts are whacky.

Apple closed at 20 1/16, a gain of 9/16 (+2.88%) on volume of 5,561,000 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2552.91, up 61.51 (+2.47%).

The Dow closed at 10891.02, a gain of 95.61 (+0.89%).

The S&P 500 brought in the hat trick for the major indexes and closed at 1326.61, up 10.69 (+0.80%).

Akamai closed at 23 5/16, a strong gain of 1 9/16 (+7.18%) on volume of 3,919,900 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe was one of two stocks we track to close in negative territory, despite seeing coverage initiated by W.R. Hambrecht at a "Buy" rating. ADBE closed at 38 15/16, a loss of 1 1/8 (-2.81%) on volume of 5,864,300 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 116.78, a gain of 1.68 (+1.46%) on 8,098,700 shares trading hands.

Motorola gained three pennies after canceling the IPO of its wireless division, which is called Propel. The stock closed at 19.13, a gain of 0.03 (+0.16%) on volume of 13,565,800 shares trading hands.

Earthlink announced they would be sponsoring the PBS series "Frontline" today. ELNK was the other stock we track to close in the red as the Microsoft/MSN buyout rumors were tossed in the waste basket (recycling bin?) of yesterdayis hottest rumor. The stock closed at 9 5/32, a loss of 1/16 (-0.68%) on volume of 4,190,100shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 19.76, up 0.11 (+0.56%) on volume of 2,037,500 shares trading hands.

Dell posted a strong gain in advance of their earnings report was announced after the bell. The stock is likely to give ground tomorrow as that report was considered disappointing. DELL closed at 25, a gain of 2 1/16 (+8.99%) on strong volume of 43,601,300 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard also posted results after the bell, and HP too gained in advance of that report. HWP closed at 36.35, a gain of 1.96 (+5.70%) on strong volume of 10,074,400 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 35 13/16, a gain of 1 11/16 (+4.95%) on strong volume of 58,334,500 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 58 13/16, a gain of 7/16 (+0.75%) on volume of 32,813,900 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.