Volatile Rally Off Lows on Wall Street, Apple's Stock Unchanged

Things could be worst. In light of the Nasdaqis 148 point sell-off by midday, this afternoonis trading is a tech stock rally. Appleis stock set a new 52-week intraday low but came back to end the day unchanged.

The grueling search for a market bottom in technology stocks goes on. The optical networking stocks, formerly the best performing sector on the Nasdaq has now fallen too. Some analysts see this as a good sign. If the market is working out insupportable valuations one sector at a time, then we must be close to the end of this autumnis sell-off.

A Wall Street Journal article reported: "An overwhelming majority of the chief executives of such titans as Cisco Systems Inc. and McDonaldis Corp. expect economic growth to slow next year and inflation to rise. Such a scenario could create a dilemma for the Fed, which may have to choose between cutting interest rates if growth slows too much, or boosting rates if prices threaten to spiral out of control."

The big news today was Sonyis (SNE) much anticipated launch of the Playstation 2 console in the US. Sony said it plans on selling 10 million Playstation 2 units worldwide by March.

Appleis stock closed flat for the trading session at 18 1/2 on volume of 12.8 million shares. Todayis intraday low of 17 1/2 was almost a point below the 52-week closing low for AAPL of 18 5/16. Often this type of intraday price activity represents at least a short term trading bottom.

A Wall Street Journal article focusing on weak DRAM prices and its effect on Samsung Electronics revealed what many investors must feel about PC stocks, "Recent poor results posted by IBM , Dell and Apple have raised expectations that demand for personal computers will remain flat into 2001, resulting in slack demand for DRAMs."

Meanwhile, Napster is pleased to unveil a special Mac-friendly interface based on the Macster application, which Napster recently purchased.

The Nasdaq climbed 42 points (0.52%) to close at 10380 on volume of 2.2 billion shares. Thatis a 188 point rally from the dayis low set at 2:20 pm.

The Dow rallied 53 points (1.32%) to close at 10380 on volume of 1.2 billion shares.

The S&P 500 lost 0.41 points to close at 1364.49.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai slipped 1 3/8 to 49 dollars. IBM jumped 5 3/16 to 92 3/4. Adobe rallied 4 15/16 to 72 7/16. Adobeis stock split two for one this morning.

Appleis competitors: Shares of Microsoft rallied 3 3/16 to 64 7/16. Intel soared 3 3/8 to 44 11/16. Gateway was lower by 0.16 to 47.85.

Compaq gained back 1.75 to 29.90. Analysts may be forecasting a PC sales slowdown this winter, but not Michael Capellas, CEO of Compaq Computer. He sounds like Steve Jobs in a recent conference call, "Iim of a little different opinion than most people on the personal computer side. People will buy different-looking designs, but thereis not going to be any slowdown in the momentum of the market."

Hewlett Packard lost only 13/16 to 86 dollars, after falling as low as 82 3/8 earlier in the day. HP is beefing up its senior staff. According to Bloomberg, "HP is forming a team of senior executives with science and technology experience to create programs that use Internet technology."

Dell gained 1 7/8 to 27 3/4. Famous for their lack of design savvy, the Austin Texas based PC vendor announced an 8 pound "consumer portable" that has both a CD-RW drive and a DVD drive, so you can watch movies while burning CDs. How convenient! And itis 2 pounds lighter than its predecessor model.

In economic news: The US Labor Department reported the employment cost index (a measure of wages and benefits for Americans) slowed to a 0.9% growth rate in the 3rd quarter from 1.0% in the second.

The Wall Street Journal reported, "For the 12 months ending in September, Americansi wages and benefits rose by 4.3%, compared with a 4.4% gain for year ending in June. For the 12 months ended September 1999, wages and benefits grew by 3.1%."

Tomorrow investors will be watching the US gross domestic product numbers for clues to the economyis direction. A consensus of economists predict growth in the 3.5% range, but a minority feel it could be substantially lower.

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.