Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 16 News List

US stocks jump as Buffett lifts Apple

MIDAS TOUCH:Berkshire Hathaway has boosted its investment in Apple to more than 240 million shares, Warren Buffett said, pushing the stock to a record high

AP, NEW YORK

US stocks made up for a shaky week with a strong finish on Friday as Apple Inc led a rally in technology companies. The tech giant hit an all-time high after Warren Buffett said he had made another big investment.

Stocks got off to a mixed start after trade talks between the US and China ended with few signs of progress, while last month’s US jobs report showed that hiring continued at a solid clip and wages continued to grow at a slow pace.

Alphabet Inc, Cisco Systems Inc and other technology companies rose, and retailers, banks and household goods makers also rallied.

Investors also cheered strong first-quarter results from companies including Shake Shack Inc and Activision Blizzard Inc.

“We went into this earnings season with very high expectations,” Prudential Financial Inc chief markets strategist Quincy Krosby said. “When you go in with such high expectations, you expect near perfection.”

The S&P 500 index on Friday climbed 33.69 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,663.42. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 332.36 points, or 1.4 percent, to 24,262.51. The NASDAQ composite jumped 121.47 points, or 1.7 percent, to 7,209.62.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 19.05 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,565.60.

Overall, stocks have taken small losses in choppy trading over the past two weeks.

However, for Apple, this was the best week in six-and-a-half years.

Apple rose 3.9 percent to US$183.83 after Buffett told CNBC that his company boosted its investment in Apple to more than 240 million shares altogether.

Buffett told CNBC about the purchase ahead of Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s annual meeting this weekend.

Berkshire stock rose 2.1 percent to US$195.64.

Apple climbed 13.3 percent for the week after it reported solid quarterly results and investors were pleased with its forecast of solid iPhone sales, which came as a relief.

It also raised its dividend and announced a big stock repurchase.

Bond prices rose early, but later gave up that gain. The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose to 2.49 percent from 2.48 percent.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.95 percent. That helped banks recover from an early loss.

Lower bond yields mean lower rates for mortgages and other types of loans, which reduces profits for banks.

Companies that pay big dividends did not rise as much as the rest of the market.

Benchmark US crude rose 1.9 percent to US$69.72 per barrel in New York.

Brent crude, the international standard, gained 1.7 percent to US$74.87 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline jumped 1.3 percent to US$2.11 a gallon. Heating oil climbed 2 percent to US$2.15 a gallon. Natural gas lost 0.6 percent to US$2.71 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold gained 0.2 percent to US$1,314.70 an ounce. Silver added 0.4 percent to US$16.52 an ounce. Copper rose 0.2 percent to US$3.09 a pound.

The US dollar fell to ¥109.11 from ¥109.73.

The euro fell to US$1.1962 from US$1.1993.

Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent and the DAX in Germany added 1 percent.

France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3 percent.

The South Korean KOSPI sank 1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1.3 percent.

Markets in Japan remained closed for a public holiday.

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