Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished Thursday largely higher on
solid U.S. durable goods data and on Apple earnings, though
escalating tensions in Ukraine spooked investors and sparked
profit-taking during the session.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 was unchanged, the
S&P 500 index rose 0.17%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose
Ukraine military forces killed five separatists earlier, while
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Kiev against stepping up
its offensive against the rebels, sparking fears the U.S. and its
European allies will slap fresh sanctions on Moscow and turn the
standoff up a notch.
Geopolitical tensions took the luster out of positive U.S. data
and Apple earnings, sending investors chasing safe-haven positions
outside of equities markets.
The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. orders for
durable goods rose 2.6% in March, beating expectations for a 2%
Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation
items, rose 2% last month, far outpacing forecasts for a 0.6%
Separately, the Labor Department said the number of individuals
who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. in the week
ending April 19 rose by 24,000 to 329,000. Analysts had expected an
increase of 5,000.
Despite the increase, underlying trends still point to recovery
in the labor market, which supported stocks on sentiments that a
more robust U.S. economy down the road will improve corporate
Meanwhile tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) late Wednesday
announced that 43.7 million iPhones were purchased in the fiscal
second quarter after the handset became available through the
world's largest wireless carrier, China Mobile, beating
The company also hiked both stock buyback and a dividend.
Apple reported net earnings for the quarter ending March 31 of
$11.62 per share, beating consensus forecasts for $10.18 per
Revenue came in at $45.7 billion, topping forecasts for $43.6
billion in sales.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), up 1.86%, UnitedHealth Group
Incorporated (NYSE:UNH), up 1.67%, and Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), up
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included
Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), down 2.41%, AT&T Inc
(NYSE:T), down 1.25%, and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), down 0.96%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.
After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose
0.28%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.64%, while Germany's DAX rose 0.05%.
Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.42%.
On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with revised data on
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