Apple finishes above $600 for 1st time
Apple surges on its decision to resume a dividend and buy back $10 billion in shares. The Dow and S&P 500 rise modestly. Crude oil tops $108; interest rates rise. Could Sprint be headed to bankruptcy?
Stocks finished modestly higher in a rally fueled by excitement over Apple's (AAPL) decision to start paying a dividend for the first time since 1995 and hopes for the economic recovery.
Apple also announced it sold more than 3 million of its new iPad tablets since Friday. Shares closed up $15.53 at $601.10, its first close above 600 and were trading at $604.10, up $4 after hours. The shares are up 48.4% this year. Apple's gain added more than 13 points to the Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX). The index rose 20 points to 2,733, its highest close since December 2000.
The market's gains were also fueled by hopes for the economy. Bank stocks were higher, with Bank of America (BAC) briefly topping $10 for the first time since August. Crude oil in New York moved above $108 a barrel, and interest rates also were higher.
But Walt Disney (DIS) said late today it was taking a $200 million write-down for its science-fiction movie "John Carter." The loss was bigger than some had expected and will result in an operating loss of $80 million to $120 million in its fiscal-second-quarter, which ends March 31. Shares were down 38 cents, or 0.8%, after hours to $43.16. The shares had risen 25 cents to $43.44 in regular trading.
The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed up 7 points to 13,239. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) rose 6 points to 1,410, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) climbed 23 points to 3,078. It was the S&P 500's best finish since May 20, 2008 and the Nasdaq's best close since Nov. 15, 2000.
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After the close, Adobe (ADBE) shares fell $1.55, or 4.5%, to $32.96. The company cut its second-quarter guidance to 57 cents to 61 cents on a non-GAAP basis. Analysts had been projecting 64 cents. Revenue is expected at $1.09 to $1.14 billion; the Street has been penciling in $1.18 billion.
The company expects a stronger second of the year, however, with revenue up 6% to 8%, compared with the Wall Street estimate of 4% to 6%. In fiscal 2011, Adobe's revenue was $4.22 billion.
Stocks on Tuesday face the February report on housing starts and building permits. Key earnings are due from Tiffany (TIF) before the open and Oracle (ORCL) after the close.
Futures trading suggests the major average will open slightly higher.
The market holds its own but is getting frothy.
The Dow and the S&P 500 had their eighth gains in nine sessions. The Nasdaq's gain was its seventh in nine sessions.
The Dow is up 2.2% for March with nine trading days left. The S&P 500 is up 3.2% for the month, with the Nasdaq up 3.78%. The Dow Jones Transportation Average ($DJT), which finished 9 points higher at 5,360, are up 4% this month.
The major averages are nearing levels when they can be considered overbought. The 200-day moving averages for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all above 10%, which is one signal of frothiness.
All three are sporting relative strength index values above 64. A relative strength index measures the current price against changes over time. A reading above 70 is a signal an index or stock is overbought.
Apple, meanwhile, is selling at 46% above its 200-day moving average, and its RSI is at 81.7.
If the market blows off -- and it may well do so -- Apple may well lead the tumble.
Energy, metals prices move higher
Meanwhile, interest rates and energy and metals moved higher.
The 10-year Treasury yield was up to 2.379% from Friday's 2.298%. The yield was 1.98% on Feb. 29.
Crude oil (-CL) in New York settled up $1.03 to $108.09 a barrel today, the highest settlement since $108.84 on March 1. Brent crude, the benchmark North Sea oil, was off 13 cents to $125.65 a barrel. AAA's national average price for gasoline was 3.842 a gallon, up slightly from Sunday and 1.1 cents from Friday.
Gold (-GC) settled up $11.50 to $1,667.30 an ounce. Silver (-SI) had risen 35.1 cents to
$32.955 an ounce. Copper (-HG) ended up 3.1 cents to $3.909 an ounce.
Apple makes a decision on its cash horde
Apple said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share starting in its fiscal-fourth quarter, which starts July 1. It also plans to buy back to $10 billion of its common stock starting in fiscal 2013, which starts on Sept. 30.
The dividend would Apple's first since 1995.
The company has been sitting on cash and short-term and long-term securities totaling nearly $98 billion at the end of December, and investors and analysts have been calling for the company to find a way to make the cash do more -- or return some of it to shareholders. The cash has been earning maybe 1% a year.
The late Steve Jobs had opposed a dividend, but Tim Cook, who succeeded Jobs in August 2011, had promised a review of the cash buildup.
The cash position alone was larger than the market capitalizations of all but the world's 52 largest companies. Had Apple wanted, The Wall Street Journal noted today, it could buy Dell (DELL), Yahoo (YHOO), Motorola Mobility (MMI), Best Buy (BBY) and Netflix (NFLX), offering a 10% premium on each.
The only catch is that two thirds of the cash kept overseas. To bring it back to this country would trigger U.S. corporate income taxes.
The company said it wasn't considering splitting the stock. Investors didn't think it would do much for the shares.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Mon.||Fri.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$108.09||$107.06||0.95%||9.37%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$3.2613||$3.2819||1.73%||11.91%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$2.3510||$2.3260||-10.13%||-21.34%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$3.3678||$3.3569||3.40%||26.73%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
Housing Day 1: Perhaps a letdown
Home builders are feeling better -- but hardly great -- about their business.
The Wells Fargo/NAHB builder sentiment index came in at 28 for March, unchanged from February, although February was revised lower from an original estimate of 29. There had been hopes the index would climb over 30 for the first time since May 2007.
The index is up 100% from September 2011, when it was at 14. That's a big improvement But to suggest housing is growing again, the index needs to top 50.
In other words, builders think business is starting to look better and should look better in six months or so.
Homebuilding stocks were mostly lower today, with PulteGroup (PHM) down 7 cents to $9.22. Ryland (RYL) was off 17 cents to $20.17. D.R. Horton (DHI) slid 9 cents to $15.94.
Also due this week: housing starts and building permits on Tuesday, mortgage applications and existing-home sales on Wednesday; the Federal Housing Finance Agency's January price index, due Thursday; and new-home sales on Friday.
Financials lead the market
Banks and other financial stocks are leading the market, with utilities, health care and consumer staples stocks the laggards.
American Express (AXP) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) were among the best performers among the 30 Dow stocks, up 72 cents to $57.27 and 43 cents to $45, respectively.
In addition, Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and KeyCorp (KEY) were among the strongest financial performers.
Bank of America was hit by profit-taking and fell 27 cents to $9.53. It topped $10 for the first time since August after Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck boosted her price target on the stock. An additional reason for the selling was chatter the company might sell new shares, but the bank denied that an offering was coming. But the stock is also up 98% from Dec. 19, when it closed at $4.99.
Graseck also boosted targets on Citigroup, Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase.
Seventeen of the 30 Dow stocks were higher. The laggards were Bank of America and Microsoft (MSFT), which was down 40 cents to $32.20. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)
Meanwhile, 280 S&P 500 stocks were higher, with U.S. Steel (X) the top percentage performer, up $1.89 to $31.64. The steel producer should benefit from a recovery in steel prices, UBS in a note. Next was Netflix (NFLX), up $4.37 to $114.33.
United Parcel Service (UPS) rose $2.70 to $81.11. It hit $81.55, its highest intraday price since 2006. The company agreed to buy TNT Express for 5.16 billion euros ($6.8 billion).
The S&P 500 laggards were Sprint Nextel (S) and Kohl's (KSS), down $1.65 to $48.72.
Sixty-seven Nasdaq-100 stocks were higher. The biggest percentage gainers were Netflix and handbag maker Fossil (FOSL), up $4.47 to $130.09. The laggards were Sears Holdings (SHLD), down $2.69 to $79.86, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), down $1.30 to $41.64.
Sprint could be face a bankruptcy filing
Sprint declined 17 cents to $2.72. The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier was downgraded by Sanford C. Bernstein's Craig Moffett amid concern the company won’t sell enough iPhones to afford its "punishing" commitment with Apple.
A bankruptcy filing is a legitimate concern, he wrote in a note to clients, if the company can't complete its network upgrade and delivers "a compelling 4G product."
"The problem is 4G," Moffett wrote. "Sprint doesn’t have enough free-and-clear spectrum on which to launch a competitive LTE network, and it doesn’t have the money to clear spectrum that’s already in use. We expect Sprint’s competitiveness to begin to backslide when LTE becomes the nation’s de facto standard."
LTE stands for long-term evolution and is the technology that will power most mobile devices in the next few years.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Mon.||Fri.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.0800%||0.080%||0.00%||700.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||1.191%||1.116%||36.11%||43.49%|
|10-year Treasury note||2.379%||2.298%||20.33%||27.15%|
|30-year Treasury bond||3.481%||3.411%||12.80%||20.49%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||79.712||80.082||1.17%||-1.01%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.629||£0.631||0.24%||-2.25%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.32||$1.32||-0.74%||2.20%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.755||€ 0.758||0.75%||-2.15%|
|U.S. $ in yen||83.54||83.38||2.67%||8.35%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.35||6.32||0.43%||0.31%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$108.04||$107.06||0.91%||9.32%|
Volume has been light for weeks because the retail investor has had enough of the Wall Street ponzi scheme. My 401 just got back to where it was in 2009 and I have reallocated out of this madness for a time.
MSOBAMANBC and other media keeps singing "Happy Days are Here Again" while mainstreet struggles to keep gas in the car and surviving on the $ 7.25 hr. the 220,000 new jobs created are paying. The media hypes Iran as the reason for high gas prices while JP Morgan, Goldman Suchs, B of A and othe large banks take that zero interest money from the Fed and run straight to the trading desk and speculate commodities. The Banks and Wall Street were behind this in 2007-2008 and created along with the housing bubble the economic collapse.
Well the oil is going up and gas is already out of sight, the banks are in on it and wall streeters are doing the speculating and hedgefunds and making a killing. All this adds up to 2008 and you lose your donkeys and chickens overnight. Great buch of greedy idiots that really care for the American poor people. Yeah right they only care about their pocketbooks, but it will come back to them soon.
If oil would stay low then the market would thrive, but it will go higher and the market will blow out and we'll all lose as we did in 2008!
Where do you come up with such nonsense? Do you know the difference between trading and manipulating ? What do you suppose is the purpose of a stock exchange ? If the market can be so easily manipulated as you suggest, then why are so many traders going to the slammer for insider trading if they didn't need that leverage ? It's pretty obvious that you are a financial neophyte trying to make an impression. I am not saying that manipulation does not exist but don't confuse normal market vacillations with abnormal manipulations. There is no question that the commodity market, particularly oil is manipulated but that is not tantamount to the swings in apple.
Charley....I just don't understand, why a few of these posters just aggravate themselves so much?
They should go on USETOOB and try to amuse themselves.
The nine year old would probably like that too.??
I know you can't say anything, so I just said it for you.
George W. Bush just got through endorsing Rick Perry for President.
Par for the course!
Keep on pushing the Greed Wall Street
I think they know what they are doing. They are looking for a political outcome. If they can make a few bucks along the way, so much the better for them. Middle class folk? Well, the traders got a big middle finger for them.
Love it......They announce a 1.8% dividend and it runs North 2.3 %...
Some are going to make money, some are not.
I was the 12th poster, so I won the drawing for the day................
"On the Twelfth day of Christmas my true love,sent to me............"
Nobody in shock down here today, 15 minutes or more yesterday and we would have ended down big...Manipulators in complete control, apparently the flavor of the week may be China....Oh well, still early, although to be honest things are looking bleak....More later, lets see how things develop.
While Manning negotiates to take Tebow's job with Elway in Denver, Tim Tebow is raising funds for wounded veterans
They're both overpaid gladiators for the Sunday beer drinking fanatics and fools.
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U.S. equity futures trade sharply lower with the S&P 500 futures down 1.0%. The overnight weakness follows a 7.3% plunge in Japan's Nikkei. Japanese stocks sold off amid continued volatility in Japanese Government Bond futures as the 10-yr yield spiked almost 16 basis points to 1.002 before retracing nearly all of its gains. In addition, the yen is notably stronger this morning with the USDJPY ... More
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