Techs Give Back Gains, Apple Dips Below 21

A great big fat Stop sign was thrust in the face of the tech rally today. Signs seem to continue to point towards the Fed not being as aggressive as Wall Street wanted them to be regarding interest rate cuts. In addition, Februaryis employment numbers will be released tomorrow morning, before the opening bell. Expectations are not high for those numbers. Yahoo!is profit warning from yesterday was another guiding influence to the downside and specifically took stocks like Akamai, which provides some bandwidth for Yahoo! All but two of the stocks we track traded lower.

The Dow, on the other hand, posted its 5th straight day in the black, and, counting todayis 100+ point gain, sits just 600 points or so off of its all-time high. The Blue Chips are the recipients of some of the money fleeing tech. Volume was moderate for both major indexes, though again, most of the stocks we track traded lightly. The exception to that would be Intel, which not closed in positive territory, it also traded on heavy volume. The company also delivered an earnings warning after the bell. We have more on that below.

Apple officially announced a US$2999 733 MHz PowerMac G4 model today. The new unit includes a CD-RW drive as opposed to the SuperDrive that comes equipped in its more expensive models first announced. Get this, the reason cited by Apple for the new models is "greater than expected quantities" of the high end processor from Motorola. This would be something we consider good news for Apple investors. Repeated supply problems have plagued the company with the fastest processors from Motorola for years. Apple has gotten several positive stories from mainstream media outlets, which could be why the company announced the models. Apple has been the subject of criticism from some of the same medial outlets regarding reported shortcomings in the final release of Mac OS X that is slated for March 24th.

AAPL opened up in the red and never saw daylight as the stock traded in a narrow range. Volume was very light for the stock, with less than 4 million shares trading hands. The dayis range was 20 7/16 - 20 63/64.

Apple closed at 20 13/16, down 7/16 (-2.06%), on very light volume of 3,650,700 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2168.73, down 55.19 (-2.48%), on volume of 1,760,324,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10858.05, up 128.45 (+1.20%), on volume of 1,119,096,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1264.60, up 2.71 (+0.21%).

Akamai was smacked upside the head again because of their relationship with Yahoo! The reasoning seems to go that since Yahoo! has less money, Akamai, who provides bandwidth for some of Yahoo!is content is also going to take a hit. Akamai lost another 11% today, on top of the more than 37% lost on the last few trading sessions we reported on Tiesday. AKAM closed at 10 15/16, down 1 3/8 (-11.17%), on volume of 2,304,600 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 27 3/16, down 1 1/2 (-5.23%), on light volume of 4,836,000 shares trading hands.

IBM had a securiity hole uncovered by hackers. The stock traded lower to close at 106.47, down 1.08 (-1.00%), on light volume 6,786,800 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed lower at 16.25, down 1.26 (-7.20%), on volume of 12,898,400 shares trading hands.

Earthlink is touting "anonymous surfing" in a bid to capitalize on fears of having your surfing habits traced and reported on. The stock held steady in the face of the sell off today, and closed slightly lower at 10 1/16, down 1/4 (-2.42%), on anemic volume of 677,600 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 17.26, a loss of 0.46 (-2.60%), on light volume of 1,686,900 shares trading hands.

Dell was one of two stocks we track to close in positive territory today. DELL closed at 26 3/16, up 1/4 (+0.96%), on light volume of 21,801,100 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard closed at 31.67, a loss of 0.68 (-2.10%) on light volume of 5,160,500 shares trading hands.

Intel announced another earnings warning after the closing bell today. They have cited a slowdown across their entire product line that has been caused by the slowdown in the US economy. As part of their response to the sales and revenue shortfall, the company will be cutting 5,000 jobs. Intel is considered a bell weather stock, and this news is likely to have an impact on tomorrowis trading. Intelis stock is trading lower in after hours trading. During todayis session, Intel actually traded higher to close at 33 1/4, a gain of 5/16 (+0.95%), on strong volume of 63,312,000 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 59 1/4, down 1 7/16 (-2.37%), on light volume of 27,185,700 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.