CORE WEAKNESS

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Surpising market watchers, Apple Computer Inc. announced today that, despite higher sales, it will likely lose money in the current quarter. "It is a sign that the personal computer market is getting more fiercely competitive," says business writer Barbara Rudolph. "Apple is not about to go bankrupt, the Macintosh is still very popular, but it is an indication that they might have to start cutting costs and selling more computers. Also, Apple has a history of management problems, which could have hurt profits. In the past, Apple's dilemma was an inadequate supply of computers, now it's competition from other computer makers."