Unhealthy Day on Wall Street, Apple Loses Ground

Rising fears that earnings will fall below expectation this quarter sunk both the Dow and the Nasdaq again. Appleis stock couldnit beat the general market downdraft, losing almost 4%.

A profit warning by Eastman Kodak takes the blame for the bad day on the Dow. But the number of stocks hitting new 52-week lows or warning are increasing on all the exchanges. So far a few of the big names that have issued profit warnings this season are Intel, Sprint, Oracle, Lexmark International, Mc Donaldis, Gillette, Nokia, Goodyear Tire and Dell. The economy is definitely cooling down under the pressure of higher oil prices, labor cost, and interest rates.

Apple sank 2 1/16 to close at the dayis low of 51 7/16 on volume of 5.1 million shares.

MacCentral reported about 100,000 orders had been place for OS X Public Beta. In an exhaustive overview of Mac usersi reactions to OS X, ZDNet said, "The consensus from users of every stripe: Despite a few rough edges and shortcomings in the beta, most users are enthusiastic about Appleis efforts to build a friendly interface atop a core of modern Unix features."

The Nasdaq fell 51.65 points (-1.38%) to close at the dayis low of 3689 on high volume of 1.8 billion shares. Traders were disappointed as big cap tech stocks once again led the way lower today.

The Dow fell 175 points (-1.63%) to close at 10632 on volume of 1.1 billion shares. Oil stocks of all types climbed higher, even though oil prices have stabilized well below last weekis high.

The S&P 500 dropped 11.76 points (-0.82%) to close at 1427.27.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai climbed 1 1/4 to 57 3/8. Cisco Systems (CSCO) has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 250,000 common shares of Akamai that it acquired as part of a 1999 pre-IPO strategic alliance between the companies.

Adobe roared ahead 3 11/16 to 151 5/16. Earthlink fell 3/16 to 10 1/4.

Motorola lost 2 dollars to 29 3/4. Motorola introduced the second of its fourth-generation G4 PowerPC microprocessor, the MPC7410 with AltiVec technology. The new CPU reaches clock speeds up to 550 MHz. See the full Mac Observer story.

IBM shed 3 5/8 to 119 3/8.

Appleis competitors: Dell dropped 11/16 to 33 5/8. Gateway was lower by 3.11 to 53.61.

Compaq gained 0.59 to 29.03. Compaq plans to invest $100 million in early-stage genomics companies involved in gene discovery and analysis. According to Bloomberg, "Compaq said it would make its first investment in the Applied Genomics Technology Capital Fund, a Cambridge, Mass.-based venture capital fund that invests in companies specializing in genomics and bioinformatics, a new field that develops systems for analyzing, processing, and storing genetic information."

Micron Electronics (MUEI) posted strong earnings that were triple expectations largely due to surging DRAM memory chip sales. This could be a sign that PC sales have remained strong in spite of Intelis earnings warning. Shares of Micron lost 1 1/2 to 10 7/8.

The US Supreme Court sent the Microsoftis antitrust case to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has reversed Judge Jacksonis decisions on Microsoft-related matters twice in the past. The Justice Department had hoped the highest court in the land would hear the case directly. Shares of Microsoft trade higher by as much as 4 dollars but settled back to only a 1 7/16 gain at 62 11/16.

In economic news: The Conference Board reported the consumer-confidence index rose 1.1 points to 141.9 in September. However, thatis still well off the record high of 144.7 registered twice this year in January and May.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "The index, based on a monthly survey of some 5,000 U.S. households, is closely watched because consumer spending accounts for about two-thirdis of the nationis economic activity. The index compares results to its base year, 1985, when it stood at 100."

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.