SAN FRANCISCO -- Macworld, the largest trade show for Apple ( AAPL) enthusiasts, kicks off Monday as industry observers and investors eagerly anticipate the unveiling of new products. Following tradition, that moment will come Tuesday when Apple CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage to deliver his highly anticipated keynote address. Last year, Jobs showed off the iPhone to nearly 45,000 delegates in attendance. In 2006, he introduced the iMac desktop with an Intel processor and the Macbook Pro, a line of Mac notebooks. In 2005, the iPod shuffle and the tiny desktop computer, Mac Mini, made their debut.
Apple Fans, Brace for MacWorld Letdown
The product announcements have had a definite impact on Apple shares. Last year, the stock jumped 12% in the three days following Jobs' keynote address. That compared with a 10% increase for the same period in 2006 and just 1.2 % in 2005. Whether the stock will get a nice bump this time around is unclear, given the unfavorable economic climate. Apple on Friday closed down $5.33, or 3%, to $172.69. The stock is down more than 8% after tasting a high of $198.85 on Dec. 26. "It's not a cheap stock, but that said, they had an incredible holiday season and the expectations from Macworld are high," says Darren Chervitz, research director for Jacob Asset Management, which holds shares of Apple. "We are not as comfortable with the name as in the past because of the macro environment and the stock's run last year, but the price has come down a bit and at some point we will be looking to add."