Modest gains for Wall Street stocks
US stocks rose modestly for a third straight day yesterday after Greece reached a deal to secure a financial bailout, but investors were cautious after weeks of gains.
Tech shares, led by Apple, gave a lift to the Nasdaq index and were the session’s strongest sector. Skepticism that Greece would follow through on promised austerity measures kept investors hesitant to boost stocks further.
The market’s steady march higher also left investors reluctant to buy aggressively without a significant catalyst. Well over 75 per cent of S&P 500 stocks are trading above their 26-week moving average, according to Thomson Reuters data. The index has finished higher on six of the last seven trading days.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 6.51 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 12,890.46. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 1.99 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 1,351.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.37 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 2,927.23.
Providing support to the market was a report showing jobless claims fell last week, underscoring improvement in the labor market.
And Apple’s stock hit an all-time high. Brokerage Canaccord Genuity said its checks indicated very strong iPhone 4S sales and increased its price target to $665. Website AllThingsD said Apple would introduce its latest iPad tablet version next month.
Shares of Apple surged 3.5 per cent to $493.17, hitting an all-time high of $496.75 earlier. The S&P information technology sector rose one per cent as the day’s best-performing group.
But Cisco Systems limited gains by the tech sector as the network equipment maker’s forecast failed to impress investors. Shares fell 2.1 per cent to $20.
PepsiCo fell 3.7 per cent to $64.27 after the beverage maker forecast lower-than-expected 2012 earnings and said it would cut thousands of jobs.
Groupon slumped 14 per cent to $21.17. The daily deal website posted an unexpected loss in the first quarterly report since it went public.
Diamond Foods tumbled 37 per cent to $23.13 after the company removed its top management and said it would restate results due to improper accounting of payments to walnut growers.
Slightly more stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange while on the Nasdaq, 53 per cent of stocks ended lower.