The Nasdaq, AAPL Make A Bottom & Turn It Around

The Nasdaq made a sharp about face from its bearish trend of late and the Dow continued its rally. Apple closed higher after opening off almost 2 dollars this morning.

Federal Reserve future funds, essentially a bet on whether the Feds will raise interest rates or not at their next meeting in late August, have dropped the odds of an interest rate hike from 42% on Monday to just 15% today. That was a good enough reason for the Nasdaq to rally.

52 IPOs and secondary issues are swamping the market this week and many are closing below their opening price However, if you are in the speech recognition business the IPO market is still booming. Speechworks Intl. (SPWX) went public Monday at 45 dollars and closed today at 87 1/2. Nuance Communication (NUAN) was listed in April during the height of the Nasdaq tech stock sell-off at 24 1/2, today NUAN climbed 22 7/16 to close at 160 15/16.

Apple dipped as low as 44 1/4 first thing this morning before roaring back to close at the dayis high of 48 dollars on above average volume of 6 million shares trading hands.

Bloomberg reported that Apple plans to invest $140 million to build a computer assembly plant in Brazil. "Luciano Kubrusly, who heads Appleis Brazil unit, met yesterday with the governor of Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil to talk about the possibility of building the plant there." The plant would manufacture Power Mac G4s, according to Bloombergis sources, and the move may be related to the 50% year-over-year growth that Apple has recently experienced in Latin America.

Another Bloomberg report said that domestic Japanese PC shipments increased a surprising 35% in the second quarter of 2000 including both Macs and Wintel PCs.

The Nasdaq rallied 101 points (2.77%) to closed at 3759 on strong volume of 1.8 billion shares. The Nasdaq began the day by opening down 137 points and then trended higher to close up over 237 points from the low. However, the extreme volatility of the day only ranked as the 21st largest trading range for the year! Thatis how wild the tech stock ride has been in 2000. The semiconductor stocks were off by as much as 8% before coming back later in the day.

The Dow extended its rally for a fourth day by 18 points (0.17%) to close at 10706 on volume of 1.05 billion shares.

The S&P 500 climbed 13.86 points (0.96%) to close at 1452.56.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai bounced back 6 3/8 to 75 dollars. Adobe fell 2 9/16 to 113 3/4. Earthlink fell 5/16 to 10 13/16. IBM climbed 1 13/16 to 116 1/16.

Motorola lost 1/2 to 36 1/8 after an analyst suggested that the companyis sales of hand sets for use in cell phones would decline. The whole semiconductor sector got hit hard on the news.

Appleis competitors: Dell gained 1 3/8 to 40 15/16. Gateway was higher by 3 1/4 to 55 3/4. Compaq gained 1 1/8 to 28 7/8. Intel climbed 1 13/16 to 65 1/16. Hewlett Packard lost 3/8 to 112 1/8.

Shares of Microsoft climbed 7/8 to 70 1/4. The European Union filed the equivalent of the US governmentis antitrust suit against Microsoft and as usual the company blamed others for the lawsuit. Microsoft, in a repeat performance, said that it was confident that the EU Competition Commission will find the software Goliath , "in full compliance with EU law at the end of the day."

Shares of eMachine (EEEE) , the company that failed in its bid to market a Wintel iMac rip-off, scored a new all-time low today after the company announced stronger-than-expected 2Q losses. eMachine lost 1/8 to close at 2 1/16.

In economic news: Factory orders were up by 5.5% in June, but excluding the volatile transportation industry driven by aircraft demand, factory orders rose by a modest 0.3% and that was music to the ears of those that fear another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Durable goods, items designed to last three or more years, soared 9.7% in June, however that category was also effected by the strong aircraft sales. Unfilled orders, a sign of future factory output, climbed in June by 4.3% after rising 1.2% in May.

Tomorrow morningis unemployment report is considered an important piece of the economic puzzle.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio is near its low for the year.

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.