Apple Holds Stock Indexes Down

Looking at the headlines across the Internet today, you may think there's doom and gloom all across Wall Street. Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) disappointing earnings results last night have caused the stock to shed 12% today, pushing the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) and Nasdaq down with it. Apple's drop of $61 today represents about a 6.5-point loss in the S&P, meaning that if Apple were flat, the index would be up about 7.2 points, rather than sitting barely above breakeven.

But another look at the market shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , which doesn't include Apple, up a decent 0.41% to near-record highs as of 3:15 p.m. EST. Besides Apple, there are other interesting moves on the markets today.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) is up 1.2% today, which might seem odd, considering Apple's drop. Microsoft reports earnings after the market closes today, and expectations for the Surface tablet and Windows 8 sales are low, but Apple's numbers may put a new perspective on them. Apple has been taking share in the PC market for years, but if Apple was having trouble selling Macs in the fourth quarter, maybe Microsoft's wounds aren't all self-inflicted. Maybe we just need to be patient with Windows 8 and its mobile brethren until device sales pick up again. We'll know more in a couple of hours.

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) is up 1.9% today after announcing the acquisition of a small stake in software developer Parallels. This wasn't a huge move for Cisco, and it looks like the stock is simply following the tech sector higher.

Apple's big drop and its ponderous weight on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have held back indexes, but overall it's been a decent day on Wall Street. We'll know more about whether the tech rally will last after Microsoft reports, but for now the hope is that Apple's pain is everyone else's gain.

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