New York Report: US shares rise as Apple stocks top $600 mark

US stocks ended slightly higher yesterday as data showed strength in the services sector and Apple shares rose above $600 for the first time since 2012.

Limiting the day’s gains, however, were concerns over an escalation of tensions between Ukraine and pro-Russia separatists. Ukrainian forces were ambushed by separatists, triggering heavy fighting on the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk, a day after a Ukrainian police station in Odessa was stormed.

The Institute for Supply Management said its services sector index rose in April, hitting the fastest pace in eight months and topping expectations. It was the latest report to offer some upbeat news on the economy, which was hit by an unusually harsh winter.

Apple shares, up 1.4 per cent at $600.96, led both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher. Late in the session, the stock rose above $600 and also closed above the key level for the first time since 26 October 2012.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17.66 points or 0.11 per cent, to 16,530.55, the S&P 500 gained 3.52 points or 0.19 per cent, to 1,884.66 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.158 points or 0.34 per cent, to 4,138.055.

On the downside, shares of JPMorgan Chase fell 2.4 per cent to $54.22, the biggest drag on the S&P 500.

The bank said late on Friday it expects second-quarter revenue from bond and equity trading to decline by about 20 per cent from a year earlier. The S&P financial index fell 0.4 per cent.