Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Apple boosts Wall St for weekly gains

OPTIMAL:US economic conditions confirm the ‘Goldilocks-type’ scenario where there is steady growth with low inflationary pressure, an investment strategist said

Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

A surge in shares of heavyweight Apple Inc on Friday helped push up major Wall Street indices, as investors also assessed a mixed US labor market report.

The S&P 500 and Dow industrials recorded their eighth consecutive weeks of gains, while the NASDAQ posted its sixth straight up week, as equities have climbed to record highs.

Shares of Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, rose 2.6 percent as shoppers streamed into the company’s stores to buy its latest iPhone.

Apple also gave a better-than-expected sales forecast for the holiday shopping season.

US job growth accelerated last month after hurricane-related disruptions in the prior month, the US Department of Labor said.

However, wages grew at their slowest annual pace in more than one-and-a-half years in a sign that inflation probably will continue to undershoot the US Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.

It “confirms this Goldilocks-type scenario where it’s steady growth with really not a lot of inflationary pressure,” said Michael Dowdall, investment strategist at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 22.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,539.19, the S&P 500 gained 7.99 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,587.84 and the NASDAQ Composite added 49.49 points, or 0.74 percent, to 6,764.44.

Apple was easily the biggest individual boost to the three indexes. The stock also helped boost the tech sector, which climbed 0.9 percent and led all major S&P 500 groups.

“This is obviously the carry-over effect from Apple having a good quarter and a tremendous outlook,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

All three indices rose in a week that saw a series of significant events, including the nomination of a new Fed chair and the long-awaited unveiling of a tax-cut bill from US President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.4 percent, the S&P added 0.3 percent and the NASDAQ Composite rose 0.9 percent.

Qualcomm Inc shares surged 12.7 percent after reports that Broadcom Ltd is exploring a deal to buy the smartphone chip maker. Broadcom shares rose 5.4 percent.

Aetna Inc shares rose 2.7 percent after Reuters reported that US pharmacy operator CVS Health Corp and the health insurer are working toward finalizing merger terms and announcing a deal as early as next month. CVS shares fell 0.2 percent.

Third-quarter corporate reports also have continued at a heavy pace. With more than 400 of S&P 500 companies having reported, earnings for the quarter are expected to have climbed 8 percent, compared to an expectation of a 5.9 percent rise at the start of last month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

American International Group Inc shares sank 4.6 percent as investors reacted to a surprise US$836 million boost to the insurance giant’s reserves.

Starbucks Corp shares rose 2.1 percent following results.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a 1.09-to-1 ratio; on NASDAQ, a 1.02-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

About 6.7 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges on Friday, above the 6.3 billion daily average over the past 20 sessions.

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