The markets closed on an up note this Friday, responding favorably to the U.S. Federal Reserve's 10th rate cut this year. Borland sends out Kylix 2, Red Hat and IBM vie for favorite auntie status, and Apple
gets its iPod ready for consumption. Also: What do B2B, anthrax, and fine Italian dining have in common?The Nasdaq composite closed Friday at 1,828.48, nearly flat from Thursday's close at 1,827 but besting last Friday's close by 23 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9,608 points, rising 285 points from the close of last week's business.
It was a small but important step: The Dow managed to wipe out the last remains of its post-Sept. 11 slump today, quite a feat for a market that tumbled more than 1,300 points in the days and weeks following the terrorist attack.
Stocks gained this week after the Fed cut interest rates for a 10th time. With rates so low, equity traders are predicting the markets will continue to rise over the next few weeks.
Borland updates Kylix, hangs on to Java
On Tuesday, Borland announced that Kylix 2 was now available for purchase. Kylix is the company's rapid application development framework for Linux and, according to recent surveys (at least the ones quoted by its maker), it now ranks among the most popular of development tools for that operating system. Pricing ranges from $1,999 for the Enterprise edition to free of charge for the development of GPLed and Open Source software.
The following day, Borland was re-elected to the executive committee of the Java Community Process (JCP). The JCP bills itself as an "open organization" formed to coordinate the development and approval process of Java technical specifications. Provided, of course, that Java owner Sun Microsystems approves of every single step the JCP makes.
IBM: $40M for Open Source
Big Blue kicked off the week by announcing a $40 million software donation to an Open Source community effort. Code-named Eclipse, the Java-based software aims to let developers use software tools from multiple suppliers within a single environment.
Red Hat: Software for schools
Red Hat played the part of software fairy this week, bestowing gifts of its Red Hat Linux operating system to selected universities. About 40 schools will receive the software as part of a program started by Hewlett-Packard and Intel's Itanium System Grants Program, a $2.5 million joint effort between HP and Intel in which HP servers and workstations based on the Itanium processor are donated to universities.
HP: Family matters
The family members and foundation of Hewlett-Packard co-founder William Hewlett said that they will vote against the proposed takeover of Compaq. Walter Hewlett, Hewlett's son and a member of the HP board, believes the company can increase value for its shareholders without swallowing Compaq. Hewlett's foundation owns 5 percent of the company's stock.
The Hewlett-Packard board of directors promptly issued a short statement saying that they stood behind the deal no matter what the Hewletts may think of it.
After consulting with trustees of the Packard Humanities Institute and following the board's announcement, David Packard said that his foundation will likely vote against the merger as well. Packard Humanities holds a 1.7 percent stake in the company.
Then there's The Packard Foundation, the largest single investor in Hewlett-Packard, with 10.4 percent of the company's shares. On late Wednesday, that particular family foundation decided to wait until after HP reports its earnings and detailed merger plans next week before it makes a decision to support or reject a plan.
Apple: iPod to debut this weekend
If you're one of those folks who can't wait to snare an iPod, head on over to your favorite Apple retailer on Saturday. The MP3 player, capable of holding up to 1,000 songs on its 5GB microdrive, carries a price tag of $399.
But what if they combined all three?
In non-Open Source news, but nonetheless amusing, we learn that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in 2DoTrade after that company claimed it was gearing up to distribute an anthrax decontamination kit. You can't blame the SEC for being just a bit skeptical that a company on a mission to develop a B2B platform for Africa is suddenly dabbling in the biotech field.
Of course, biotech and B2B have very little to do with the company's original mission. Back when it first filed with the SEC, 2DoTrade wanted to start a chain of high-end Italian restaurants around the world.
Here's how Open Source and related stocks ended this week:
|Company Name||Symbol||11/09 Close||11/02 Close|
|Borland Software Int'l||BORL||13.52||11.16|
|VA Linux Systems||LNUX||1.73||1.26|
|Wind River Systems||WIND||16.95||14.23|