It was bounce back week on the Street, with the Dow gaining back much of its recent loss. The high techs didn’t participate much, however, with the exception to the rule being, once again, Microsoft.
Bill Gates’ baby announced an 85 percent improvement in first-quarter profits late Thursday, pushing its stock up $9.50 Friday to $107.62-1/2. Are they just printing money in Redmond? … On the surprise front was archrival Apple Computer, which bucked the poor-high-tech syndrome itself. Even though the computer maker posted its second-worst quarterly performance ever - losing $708 million, due mainly to job cuts - the stock rose 43-3/4 cents Thursday but dropped 62-1/2 cents Friday (profit-taking?) to $18.32-1/2. The guess here is analysts were expecting worse.
Merrill Lynch pulled its “accumulate” rating from Raychem Thursday and the company’s stock went thud, dropping $12.32-1/2, about 20 percent of its value. It lost $1.62-1/2 Friday, to end the week at $67.25. … Russell, a sportwear manufacturer, almost lost its shirt Friday when it was revealed that its earnings for the first quarter were only 30 cents a share. That’s flat when compared to last year, so its stock took a dive, dropping $8.50 to $27.25.