Treats for Everyone As Investors Say Good Night to October

Great Pumpkin! Itis Halloween and the ghosts of bull markets past possessed the Nasdaq today. It seems all the dead money has finally worked its way out of evil positions as the tax loss selling wraps up. Even scarred and maimed AAPL showed feeble signs of life.

Investor optimism was palpable as October, the most dread month of the year for the stock markets, came to an end and the historically best time of the year to own stocks began. The word from the floor of the NYSE is that fund managers are rolling up their sleeves and putting money back to work.

Appleis stock climbed 1/4 to close at 19 9/16 on high volume of 14.8 million shares.

Apple announced the creation of a new executive position, vice president for Education Marketing and Solutions. Cherly Vedoe will be the first to hold the Macintosh "education czar" post. Steve Jobs exclaimed, "The education market is a top priority for Apple, and we intend to regain market share beginning in 2001."

Appleis recent poor sales performance has revealed a number of weaknesses in Cupertinois sales leadership team and some strategic blunders as well. Apparently the company is wasting little time in attempting to apply new solutions to the problems.

Ms. Vedoe is aware of the issues unique to Appleis market situation since she formerly worked for Apple as a VP for education. In her new position she will report directly to Steve Jobs.

In other Apple news, the company has established a Web site ( dedicated to informing the scientific and research market the benefits of using Macs by drawing on the many interesting example of Macs in the service of science.

The Nasdaq roared ahead by 177 points (5.55%) to close at 3368 on volume of 1.04 billion shares. Traders are saying a strong follow through tomorrow would confirm todayis bounce as authentic and sustainable. The Nasdaq ends October lower by 9%.

The Dow rallied 136 points (1.26%) to close at 10971 on volume of 1.2 billion shares. The DJIA ended October 312 points higher, which is much better than October usually treats the Dow.

The S&P 500 climbed 30.40 points (2.17%) to close at 1429.06.

In Apple related businesses: First Union Securities initiated coverage on Akamai with a strong buy rating saying that they expect Akamai to grow at 170% next year. AKAM climbed 3 3/4 to 51 dollars.

Earthlink warned that it will have a 4th quarter loss of $0.48 to $0.53 per share due to slowing growth in its dial-up business. Analyst were expecting a loss of only $0.33 per share. Earthlink lost 7/32 to 6 17/32.

Adobe Systems announced a strategic alliance with RealNetworks (RNWK), to develop compatible "solutions for web professionals to author streaming media for todayis most web compelling web experiences, such as eBusinesses that deliver streamed video, audio and animation." Adobe rallied 6 7/16 to 76 1/16.

IBM and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. announced a joint computer-services agreement valued at about $15 billion for IBM over 10 years with NTT. The deal is IBMis largest outsourcing deal in Asia and adds to the $4.5 billion in outsourcing contracts IBM has already signed in Japan this year. IBM jumped 4 7/8 to 98 3/16.

The Wall Street Journal said the deal, "advances a companywide push by IBM in recent years to expand its computer-services business, which is expected to record double-digit revenue growth this year. IBMis outsourcing business installs and maintains the combinations of hardware, software and networks that other companies use to run their businesses."

IBM also said today its board of directors have authorized a buyback of $3.5 billion of IBM shares in addition to a $3.5 billion share buyback approved by IBMis board earlier this year. The company still has $750 million from the first $3.5 billion authorization. IBM has 1.8 billion diluted shares outstanding.

Appleis competitors: Dell gained 5/8 to 29 7/16. Compaq gained back 0.11 to 30.46. Intel lost 1/8 to 44 7/8. Hewlett Packard climbed 13/16 to 46 5/8.

Gateway was higher by 1.01 to 51.61, after the company agreed to pay $9 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the federal government between 1994 and 1997.

Shares of Microsoft fell 1/8 to 68 15/16. ZDNet News said that Microsoftis chance of catching the intruder that hacked Redmondis corporate Internet and gained access to Windows and MS Office source codes are almost zero.

In economic news: New-home sales leaped a greater-than-forecast 9.2% in September to their highest level in six months as mortgage rates crept slightly lower.

However, the Conference Board said its consumer-confidence index dropped 7 points in October to 135.2, its lowest level since October 1999. Economists had forecast the index would fall only to 140.

The Wall Street Journal reported, "The drop was due to a more bleak assessment of both current and future conditions. The present-situation index dropped to 177 in October from 182.5 in September. That index is now at its lowest level since November 1999. The expectations index fell 8.5 points to 107.4, its lowest level since March."

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.