Apple's announcement on Tuesday of its retail-stores plan helped its stock climb 3.97 per cent to $24.1 by market close.

The market generally was also buoyed by the US Federal Reserve's hint of a half per-cent cut in interest rates on May 15. With renewed confidence, stocks on all markets saw some gains.

The situation prompted Business Week magazine to point to yesterday's release of the US Consumer Price Index report, which showed US consumer confidence remains "positive".

"Euphoric", was the mood on Wall Street yesterday, Josephthal Investment Brokers chief investment officer Larry Rice told Business Week. Of analysts' predictions of a turnaround in the US economy toward the second half of 2001, he said: "The pom-poms are out and everybody is bullish, and sentiment is ridiculously positive."

Apple's partners saw positive trading too – Macromedia climbed 1.59 per cent to close at $21. Adobe climbed 5.93 per cent to close at $41.09. Microsoft reached $69.16, a 1.3 per cent rise, Akamai climbed 8.73 per cent to close at $9.96 and Corel took 3.73 per cent gains, closing at $2.5.