Apple’s fall hits the Nasdaq but Dow still rises

A volatile trading session ended with US stocks mostly higher yesterday, even as Apple, the most valuable company in the United States, suffered its worst day of losses in almost four years.

In a strange occurrence, Apple accounted for the entirety of the Nasdaq 100’s fall of 1.1 per cent, while the Dow industrials – which do not include Apple as a component – enjoyed the best day since 28 November.

With the drop, Apple shed nearly $35bn in market capitalisation, its biggest one-day market-cap loss ever. The company’s market value, or market capitalisation, now stands at $506.85bn.

“Today’s move is because of index weightings, with the Nasdaq down because of Apple’s decline,” said Rex Macey, chief investment officer of Wilmington Trust in Atlanta. “The S&P is up because Apple isn’t as big a weight in that index, and the Dow is up even more because it isn't there at all.”

Shares of The Travelers Cos rose 4.9 per cent to $74. The stock ranked as the Dow’s top percentage gainer after the insurance company said it intended to resume stock buybacks it had temporarily suspended while it assessed its exposure to Superstorm Sandy. The company also said a preliminary estimate of net losses from Sandy was about $650m after tax.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82.71 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 13,034.49 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.23 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 1,409.28. But the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 22.99 points, or 0.77 per cent, to end at 2,973.70.