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Ticker Shock: Apple Gets Eaten Up; Dell Gets Upgraded

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Wednesday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.

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If you follow this column, then you know I'll be at home with my wife and kids ringing in the New Year. I'm looking forward to it - there's nothing in this world that I love more than spending time with them.

As for all of you, I hope you have a fun and safe night and a very happy New Year!

Of course, before we break out the party hats and champagne and start singing Auld Lang Syne, we still have today's session ahead of us. Let's get cracking, shall we?

The Hang Seng closed up more than 1%. The Nikkei was closed on holiday. Meanwhile, Europe was showing me some green earlier this morning. And here in the US we are currently trading higher.

This is what's got my attention on the final trading day of 2008:

Apple (AAPL) / Amazon (AMZN):
I came across an interesting Reuters article that was posted last night that revolved around online activity as tracked by Virginia-based comScore (SCOR).

According to the Reuters article:

"Apple and Amazon were among the top traffic gainers in an overall bleak period, comScore said. Apple sites attracted 35 million visitors between December 1st and December 24th, up 19% from a year ago, while Amazon sites drew 76.2 million visitors over the same period, 7% more than a year ago."

The first thing that popped into my head after reading this is that these are some pretty impressive numbers, given the current environment. It also made me wonder how well these players might be doing if things were more "normal."

The article also helps put Apple's/Amazon's potential power and ability to garner attention into a little better perspective, which is something I want to keep in mind heading into the New Year in case I criticize either of the 2 in the future.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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