Report of a new Apple iPhone boosts US stocks

US stocks rose in a slow session yesterday on data showing more stabilisation in the economy, while Apple rallied on a report that it was developing a new iPhone.

With the S&P 500 now up 73.4 per cent from the March 2009 bottom and on track for a fourth straight quarterly gain, investors chose to lock in profits, with financials taking the brunt of the selling.

“Stocks are just trickling higher, gains are selective, it’s a short week and being the end of the quarter, people have locked in a lot of their positions”, said Cleveland Rueckert, market analyst at Birinyi Associates.

Apple’s stock hit an all-time record closing high of $235.83, up 1.5 per cent, after reports the company was developing a new iPhone to work on Verizon Communications’ mobile network. Shares of Verizon advanced 2.6 per cent to $31.23.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 11.56 points, or 0.11 per cent, to end at 10,907.42, not far below the 11,000 mark. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added just 0.05 of a point, or 0.00 per cent, to 1,173.27. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.33 points, or 0.26 per cent, to close at 2,410.69.

Industrials, the best-performing S&P 500 sector this quarter, also rose. Shares of 3M shot up 3.6 per cent to $84.28 and contributed the most to the Dow’s advance.