Apple helps Nasdaq to a healthy rise - New York Report

THE Nasdaq ended higher yesterday for a ninth straight day following gains in Apple, while the Dow and S&P 500 eased off recent record highs as lower oil prices dragged down energy shares.

The Nasdaq’s winning run was its longest since September 2010, putting the index closer to its 5,132.52 all-time intraday high, reached in March 2000 just before the dot-com bubble burst. Giving Nasdaq its biggest boost were shares of Apple, which rose 2.7 per cent to $133.00, another record close.

Oil prices fell, with WTI crude off 2.7 per cent at $49.45 a barrel on oversupply concerns and a stronger dollar, pushing the S&P energy index down 0.4 per cent.

The PHLX housing sector index was off 0.5 per cent after existing home sales fell to their lowest in nine months in January.

Investors were also reluctant to make big bets before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semiannual testimony this week before the Senate Banking Committee, which will be closely watched for any indications on the timing of an interest rate hike.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 23.6 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 18,116.84, the S&P 500 lost 0.64 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 2,109.66 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.01 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,960.97.

The Dow and S&P 500 eased off record highs from late last week, when a conditional agreement was reached by Eurozone finance ministers to extend Greece’s bailout.

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