CLOSING UPDATE: Stocks Finish Near Best Levels of the Session; Late Rally for Tech Stocks Nearly Erases Apple Drag
Stocks posted narrow gains today, with the Dow Jones Industrials outpacing the broader S&P 500 because of solid advances for a handful of higher priced component companies, including a 2% rise for IBM and a 1.3% jump for United Technologies ( UTX ). The S&P 500 held on for a smaller rise, led by consumer stocks despite below-consensus inventory and sales data. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index finished in the red due to steep declines for Apple ( AAPL ) following investor disappointment with the tech giant's two new iPhone models, triggering a fresh round of analyst downgrades.
In new economic data today, the Commerce Department reported July wholesale inventories and sales both increased by 0.1% over the prior month, trailing market estimates looking for a gain of 0.3% in inventories and a 0.4% rise in sales. Still, the market showed strong resilience thanks as energy prices moderate with easing Mid-East tensions as well as another round of bullish Chinese data and an encouraging jobs report from the UK.
Commodities were mixed. Crude oil for October delivery reversed small declines earlier in the session to settle 17 cents higher at $107.56 per barrel. October natural gas fell 2 cents to finish the day at $3.57 per 1 million BTU. December gold fell 40 cents to $1363.60 per ounce while December silver rose 16 cents to $23.17 per ounce. December copper ended unchanged at $3.26 per pound.
Here's where the markets stood end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 135.54 (+0.89%) to 15,326.60
S&P 500 up 5.14 (+0.31%) to 1,689.13
Nasdaq Composite Index down 4.01 (-0.11%) to 3,725.01
Hang Seng Index down 0.17%
Shanghai China Composite up 0.15%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.07%
(+) HNR, Considering a sale of its outstanding shares to Pluspetrol Venezuela for approximately $373 million.
(+) SNX, Agrees to buy IBM's ( IBM ) customer care outsourcing business for $505 million in cash and stock.
(+) GALT, U.S. Patent Office issues a patent for its galectin inhibitor compound to treat patients with fatty liver disease.
(-) AAPL, Investors disappointment with the new iPhones is followed by a rash of analyst downgrades.
(-) OVAS, Suspends U.S. enrollment in trial for its new fertility aid; moving forward with its plans to enroll patients in other countries.
(-) CWTR, The apparel company reports a Q2 loss of $0.72 per share, wider than Capital IQ estimates for a $0.63 per share loss.