Apple buoys Nasdaq; Ukraine weighs on broader market
The Nasdaq rose modestly in a choppy session, lifted by a rally in Apple shares a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held the broader market in check.
Shares of Apple Inc, the most valuable US company by market capitalization, jumped 8.2 percent to $567.77, the biggest gain since August, a day after the company posted revenue that far outpaced expectations. Apple also approved another $30 billion stock-buyback plan, raised its dividend and authorized a seven-for-one stock split.
The S&P information technology index rose 1.1 percent and was the best-performing sector of the day.
The three major US stock indexes had opened sharply higher, with the Nasdaq initially climbing more than 1 percent before turning negative in the first half-hour of trading. Wall Street bounced off session lows with gains again concentrated in the Nasdaq, but stocks finished the day well off earlier highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average remained unchanged to close at 16,501.65. The S&P 500 gained 3.22 points or 0.17 percent, to 1,878.61. The Nasdaq Composite added 21.372 points or 0.52 percent, to end at 4,148.338.
After the close, Microsoft Corp shares rose 2.4 percent to $40.40 after the world's largest software company posted third-quarter results.
Volume was light, with about 6.07 billion shares traded on US exchanges, below the 6.59 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1,535 to 1,465, while on the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers by 1,494 to 1,087.
European stock markets rebounded from earlier weakness stemming from the Ukraine tensions on signs of a resurgence in corporate takeover activity. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a near 6-year high of 1,355.29 points earlier this month, closed up 0.3 percent at 1,343.27 points.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 0.75 points or 0.18 percent, to 413.35.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.046 points or 0.06 percent, to 79.809. The dollar was last down 0.21 percent against the yen at 102.3100.
US Treasuries prices edged lower after the data showing stronger-than-expected US durable goods orders reduced safe-haven bids, but the concerns over Ukraine limited losses. The 10-year Treasury note was last down 2/32 to yield 2.695 percent.
Oil prices were higher. Brent crude for June delivery added $1.38 to $110.50 a barrel, while US crude gained 59 cents to $102.03.
Gold futures for June delivery were last up 0.54 percent, at $1,291.6 an ounce.