Stocks – S&P Closes Higher Amid Apple-Inspired Rally


Stocks - S&P Closes Higher Amid Apple-Inspired Rally – The S&P 500 closed higher as an Apple-inspired rally stoked investor appetite for risker assets, offsetting mixed signals on trade.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.57%. The S&P 500 rose 0.53%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.75%.

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) slump from a day earlier lured bargain-seeking investors into the technology giant’s shares, which closed 2% higher despite analysts cutting estimates on future profit growth.

Goldman Sachs cut its fiscal 2019 forecast on Apple’s earnings per share to $13.77 from $14.53, on concerns the lower-than-expected pricing for the iPhone Xr would hurt average selling prices, stifling growth.

Apple on Wednesday revealed its new iPhone XR and priced the LCD-version of the phone at $749, below the $849 Goldman had previously estimated.

Apple’s return to winning ways lifted the broader averages, even as President Donald Trump’s remarks appeared to cast some doubt on a positive outcome for potential U.S.-China trade talks.

“We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us,” Trump tweeted. He wrote that the U.S. “will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home.”

This comes after Beijing, on Thursday, reportedly said it would welcome the opportunity to renew trade talks with the U.S.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), both of which have huge exposure to China, took Trump’s remarks in stride, suggesting that investors remained focused on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s efforts to get the ball rolling on a fresh round of trade talks.

Mnuchin sent a letter to Chinese officials on Wednesday proposing talks in the next few weeks.

Energy, meanwhile, did little to lift the broader averages, ending the day roughly unchanged following a decline in oil prices amid a jump in OPEC output.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery fell 2.5% to settle at $68.62 a barrel.

On the corporate news front, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) shares rallied 4% after the wireless chipmaker confirmed it had entered into a $16 billion accelerated share buyback program.

Shares of Kroger (NYSE:KR), meanwhile, fell 10% as the retailer’s earnings topped estimates, but sales fell short.

The upbeat day on Wall Street was also helped by a slowdown in inflation, which eased investor fears that rising consumer prices would force the Federal Reserve to adopt a faster pace of monetary policy tightening.

The Labor Department said on Thursday its consumer price index rose 0.2% last month, below economists’ expectations for a 0.3% increase. The slower pace of rising consumer prices in August pushed the year-on-year increase in the CPI down to 2.7% from 2.9% in July.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

DaVita HealthCare Partners (NYSE:DVA), International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.

Kroger (NYSE:KR), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.


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