Wall Street Churns, Apple slips lower

The financial media are laying the blame for todayis sell-off in the stock markets squarely on Ericsson (ERICY) and Agilent (A) who both disappointed Wall Street with news of lame earnings. Appleis stock lost steam as skeptics attacked Appleis new hardware strategy.

CNET news reports that some analysts think the new dual processor Power Mac G4 is going to flop. Weire making a list of those analysts and checking it twice, in case the occasion arises in the next few quarters to recall who has been naughty and who been right. ; - )

In other news: The so-called Group of Seven leading industrialized nations meeting in Okinawa issued a joint statement declaring that global economic growth is bright, however they warned the high price of oil is threatening this growth.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "The worldis major industrial countries opened their annual economic summit on Friday, hoping to provide a decisive rebuttal to critics of globalization by producing specific programs aimed at bridging the yawning gap between the worldis rich and poor. Russian President Vladimir Putin joined them for dinner."

Apple sank 1 9/16 to close at 53 9/16 on below average volume of 3.4 million shares. AAPL lost $3.125 for the week.

The Nasdaq fell 90 points (-2.16%) to closed at 4093 on volume of 1.5 billion shares. The index was off 181 points for the week, the first negative weekly return in a month. But many traders arenit worried since the Nasdaq was up as much 40% from its May lows and was overdue a bout of profit taking.

The Dow fell 110 points (-1.02%) to close at 10733 on volume of 967 million shares. The Dow was off about 100 points for the week.

The S&P 500 dropped 15.46 points (-1.03%) to close at 1480.11, down 14 points for the week.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai slid 8 7/16 to 117 dollars. Adobe fell 2 9/16 to 134 11/16. Earthlink fell 7/16 to 15 9/16. Motorola lost a buck to 37 dollars.

Macromedia (MACR) crashed 29 11/16, or about 27%, on fears of weaker revenues going forward in spite of beating earnings forecasts. A number of analysts downgraded the software company today.

IBM shed 2 13/16 to 114 7/16, nevertheless, IBM is up about 10% for the week on expectations for better sales going forward.

Appleis competitors: Hewlett Packard lost 6 5/8 to close at 123 3/8 on the weakness in the printer market. Gateway was lower by 1/4 to close at 62 7/8. Compaq gained 1/4 to close at 28 1/16. Shares of Microsoft dropped 2 1/2 to 72 5/16. Intel fell 4 1/2 to 138 3/16.

In economic news: Next week is an important one for economic data with the gross national product, housing sales, consumer confidence and employment cost all on the agenda.

Weaker US housing starts last month supplied further evidence that the Federal Reserveis interest rate hikes are having the desired effect on economic activity. Housing construction fell 2.6% in June to its lowest level in two years.

The Commerce Department announced Wednesday that the US trade deficit climbed to a record $31.04 billion in May. However, even as the trade gap continues to widen, exports and imports actually declined for a second month.

Tuesday, the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation at the retail level, rose a greater-than-expected 0.6% in June helped along by the strongest rise in energy prices in 14 months. Consumer prices were up 3.7% year over year in June matching a nine-year high reached in 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 Apple Stock Watch Special Report. </body>