The Too-Close-to-Call Election Sidelines Investors and Stocks Drift Lower

The stock markets might as well have been closed for the Presidential election. The trading ranges were small and mostly negative as was the volume. Appleis stock sagged a bit lower.

AAPL dipped 1/8 to close at 21 5/16 on volume of 5 million shares, the lowest volume since late September.

Everyone was informed by Fred Anderson and Steve Jobs that the current quarter isnit going to be great as backed-up inventory is cleared out. Thus, buying shares of AAPL now means that you are willing to wait several quarters to see serious upward movement in the stock price. But Motley Fool columnist Whitney Tilson is selling his recent investment in AAPL because he apparently thought the stock was going to snap right back.

As Dubyais dad might say, "read my lips": Appleis stock has at least another quarter of painful numbers to deliver Wall Street and thatis not a recipe for a major stock price rebound. However, that doesnit mean far sighted investors should not be accumulating AAPL shares as the stock fluctuates in its current range. Short term stock traders should speculate elsewhere for a fast turn over.

Meanwhile, reports that Apple Australia is hike prices on all Macs except the G4 Cube. An Apple spokesperson said, "Apple has increased prices in response to the sustained decline in the Australian exchange rate."

The Nasdaq traded flat at 3415 on volume of 1.6 billion shares. Internet stocks had a mild rally today. News that Cisco has built up inventory going into the next quarter was tough on the semiconductor sector today.

The Dow fell 25 points (-0.23%) to close at 10952 on light volume of 876 million shares. The financial stocks sold-off after yesterdayis strong performance.

The S&P 500 lost 0.31 points to close at 1431.88.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai climbed 1 1/4 to 57 3/4. Earthlink shed 5/8 to 8 dollars after yesterdayis big run up on speculation that AOL will be forced to open access to its cable system. Motorola lost 9/16 to 24 1/8.

Adobe told financial analysts it will beat expectations for its fourth quarter with 25% revenue growth and a 31% operating margin. The company forecast 25% revenue growth in 2001 and increasing margins. Estimates for the quarter are now likely to rise above the current consensus of $2.56 per share.

"Adobe has gone from a leader in the realm of desktop publishing for print media to serving as the software backbone for online and network publishing," claims a Motley Fool article. "Its ePaper Solutions segment is expected to provide a 65% growth spurt in sales next year. Thatis a stark contrast to the print publishing side. There the company is looking for just a 10% hike in revenue." Adobe shed a dollar to 82 1/4.

IBM is hosting its fall meeting with security analysts this afternoon. IBM jumped 2 dollars to 102 5/16.

Even though IBM dropped plans for using Transmetais (TMTA) Crusoe coprocessor in its ThinkPad product, Transmetais initial public offering today was a smashing success, rising more than 50% to close at 45 1/4.

Shares of Microsoft gained a buck to 70 1/2 on largely false hopes that a Bush victory would save the company from their legal woes. Meanwhile, Redmond admitted a 19-year hacker broke into an internal server, this time to make the point that Microsoftis security is poor. CBS MarketWatch reported, "The hacker was able to access the server because Microsoft failed to install its own patch for the Internet Information Server software."

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.