Rumor sends Apple’s stock down; the market goes up and down; is Facebook outage to blame?

There’s an unconfirmed bit of gossip floating around that Apple of Cupertino may be cutting production of either the iPod, or the new Iphone, or maybe both. Or maybe neither. Nobody seems to know how this got started or where it came from. Apple, which seemed to perfect the art of iSpin control, has yet to chime in.

Here’s one fact that can be confirmed: The speculation sent Apple’s stock down $9.67 to $131.76 – a drop of 6.84 percent.

Of course, even the bad news could be good in this topsy-turvy world of ours. Said one analyst: “If it is an iPod production cut, that’s a good thing because it’s a sign a new iPod is coming.”

And speaking of topsy turvy: If you were wondering whether stock market went up or down today, the answer is Yes and Yes.

In the morning, it appeared that all fears of financial armageddon triggered by the stomach churning drops in stocks late last week had evaporated. The Dow Jones industrial average opened up strongly this morning, climbing all the way to 13,498.53 from an opening of 13,358.31. Money managers across the lands could be heard breathing a sigh of relief, slipping on their bathing suits, rubbing on suntan lotion and preparing to resume vacations they had put on hold.

But lo, the fates intervened once again. Just around 10 a.m., in fact, the market went into freefall again, and closed at 13,211.99, down 146.32, or 1.1 percent for the day.

Is Facebook even more

powerful that we thought?: By coincidence, the market’s nosedive began about the same time that the Facebook site went down: Around 10 a.m. Perhaps all those panicked Facebookers decided to fill the void by shedding their investment portfolios willy nilly.
The company still hasn’t said what went wrong, except for posting a brief message on the home page saying the site was getting an upgrade. By 11:30 a.m., Facebook was back, and users could resume plastering comments on each other’s walls.

Still, it wasn’t enough to help the market.

Let them buy PCs: Dell has said it delivered its first “Made in Indiacomputer to people who were also “Made in India.” Presumably, these PCs are similar to those used in the rest of the world, with things like semiconductors, keyboards, software and other techie stuff.

Once on the verge of taking over the whole world, the company has now fallen behind Hewlett-Packard, which not all that long ago seamed to headed to the dustbin of irrelevance.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Dell. So anyway, Dell said it hopes that by selling computers made in India to people in India, they will lift sales in India.

The computers were built in a new plant, located at Sriperumbudur, an industrial hub near Chennai. The plant will make about 400,000 desktop computers each year.

Silicon Valley tech stocks:

Up: Sun Microsystems and Applied Materials. Down: Google, Yahoo, Intel, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Apple, eBay.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Down 37.01 points or 1.43 percent, closing at 2,546.27.

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average: Down 146.32 points or 1.1 percent, closing at 13,211.99.

And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index: Down 18.64 points or 1.26 percent, closing at 1,455.27. Source: mercurynews