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Apple's stock beginning its climb back up?

Steve Jobs

Many technology shares tumbled again today, although the Nasdaq ended the day up slightly.

But Apple, like one of those penguins that wanders away from the pack, veered off in a different direction. The company's shares jumped 9%. In comparison, Sony fell 10%, Hewlett-Packard lost 4% and Dell was off 1%. Even IBM, which told everyone Wednesday afternoon that things were fine, ended down 1%.

Fortune's Apple 2.0 blog points out that the same thing happened Thursday afternoon: As the market changed course and began a swan dive to new lows, Apple started trading up.

I called a few analysts. They seemed a little dazed from the week. One of them groaned, "All you can do is look at the screen. Morgan Stanley is down 40% so far today. I bet they wish their windows could open." (Morgan Stanley recovered to drop by, ahem, only 22%.)

Even with its iPod Nano-sized rally the past two days, Apple's shares are down 36%  from a month ago. If anything, Apple should be even deeper in the dungeon, some might argue, since everyone is worried that consumers will be on tight budgets this Christmas.

Could Apple be the first technology company to hit bottom and begin the bounce up? That's what Barron's wonders

Wendy Abramowitz, senior vice president at Argus Research, said there has been a lot of discussion about whether Apple, which reports earnings on Oct. 21, will do better than most other consumer technology companies in general and possibly be helped by strong iPhone sales. Another factor may be anticipation for the new laptops Apple is expected to unveil next week.

Or maybe the movement of any single stock defies explanation this week. Said Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross, "The wide swings in stock prices may have to do with less with fundamentals and more to do with funds repositioning their portfolios."

-- Michelle Quinn

Photo: Apple's CEO Steve Jobs at an Apple event in September. Credit: Monica M. Davey / EPA

 
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