Nasdaq hit its highest point since July 2001, amid optimism that technology companies including Apple will soon forecast profit increases for 2004, according to Bloomberg.

Thomson Financial, for example, is suggesting that Apple may report first-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share when it reports its fourth quarter financial results on Wednesday.
This would be up from a loss of 2 cents a share a year ago,

A report on CBS Marketwatch suggests Apple's results are of particular interest to Internet observers, following the success of the iTunes Music Store and iPod. Apple has already disclosed that it has sold more than 30 million songs in 2003, and it sold 730,000 of its iPods in the holiday quarter.

However Janus Capital Group – which with 6.5 per cent, is the second largest shareholder in Apple – reduced its stake in Apple on Monday to 2.8 per cent, of 10.3 million shares, according to a US regulatory filing.