The Dow Shrinks but the Nasdaq and Apple Continue Higher

Blue chips on the Dow sustained profit taking as the markets began to slow ahead of the long Labor Day weekend in the US. The Nasdaq continued to trundle higher, although most technology issues were down on the session. Appleis stock squeaked out a small gain in what was otherwise a tough day for computer hardware stocks.

Apple continued to rally 5/16 to close at 59 1/2 on high volume of 5 million shares for the eighth day in a row.

Yesterday, an ON24 audio report said Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner, after meeting with Appleis management, reiterated his buy rating on Apple, with a price target of $70 per share. Gardner said the company is one of his top picks in the PC industry. Salomon Smith Barney concluded by advising investors to be aggressive buyers of Apple before the September earnings announcement.

The Nasdaq climbed 21 points (0.53%) to close at 4103 on strong volume of 1.5 billion shares. The Nasdaq intraday range has shrunk from a 158-point average in the first half of the year to an 86-point average range so far in the second half and even lower than that in recent weeks. Todayis range was 50 points, yesterdayis was 37 points. The Nasdaqis most volatile day was April 4th, 2000 when the index experienced a 634 point intraday range.

Biotech Index (.BTK) climbed 1.76% to 748 and is now with in 50 points of its all time high. The B2B sector also rallied strongly today.

The Dow fell 112 points (-1.00%) to close at 11103 on volume of 817 million shares. Crude oil (CLVo) continued to rise above recent highs, closing today at $33.25 per barrel.

The S&P 500 dropped 7.25 points (-0.48%) to close at 1502.59.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai climbed 6 3/16 to 72 1/2. Universe Music Group is teaming with Akamai to explore ways to bring original music to end users via broadband streaming media. Meanwhile, PSINet Inc. said it will expand its relationship with Akamai that was first established in January.

Adobe fell 2 1/16 to 129 9/16. Earthlink broke out of its funk, rallying 1 7/16 to 11 1/2. Motorola slipped 11/16 to 35 1/16. IBM lost momentum after a seven session rally to fall 2 11/16 to 130 3/16.

Appleis competitors: Gateway was higher by 0.15 to 65.85. (GTW is one of a hand full of stocks that began trading in decimals this week on the NYSE) Compaq gave back 5/8 to 33 1/4. Intel fell 9/16 to 73 1/2.

Reuters reported, "A California judge allowed a class action suit to proceed against Microsoft, the first such case to go to trial over charges that the software giant harmed consumers through its alleged monopolistic practices." Shares of Microsoft lost 15/16 to 70 dollars.

Dell fell 5/8 to 39 15/16. Dell said it cut prices for some desktop PCs after its parts costs fell.

In economic news: The Conference Board reported the index of leading indicators lost 0.1% in July to 105.8 as expected by economists. The index tracks ten economic statistics in order to gauge whether the economy is expanding or slowing.

Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein said, "The small but consistent decreases in the past three-month period certainly point to a second-half economic performance less robust than in the first half of 2000."

Tomorrow look for Augustis Chicago PMI and Julyis factory orders. The unemployment report on Friday, if it is in variance with expectations, could cause some volatility as traders prepare for the long weekend.

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 Apple Stock Watch Special Report.