Apple became the first U.S. company to top $1 trillion in market value on Thursday, leading a rebound in technology stocks that helped Wall Street pare losses and turned the Nasdaq positive. Market sentiment was also lifted by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s comment, who said the tariffs that United States is threatening to impose on Chinese goods would not be disastrous for the Asian nation. “It’s not something that’s going to be cataclysmic,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network, explaining that a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of goods would equal to less than 1 percent of China’s economy.
Technology stocks, which were trading lower earlier in the session, rose 0.4 percent. Apple hit a record high of $207.05, crowning a decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.
“There’s a dichotomy on whether the tech run is going to continue,” said Cliff Hodge, director of investments for Cornerstone Wealth in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The tariffs are not enough to derail the U.S. economy that is firing on all cylinders.” The trade-sensitive industrial sector fell 0.38 percent.
Caterpillar, Boeing and 3M fell more than 1 percent and weighed on the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average. Financials fell 0.5 percent, the biggest drag on the S&P 500, as 10-year U.S. Treasury yields eased. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but characterized the economy as strong, keeping the central bank on track to increase borrowing costs in September.
At 11:23 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 120.33 points, or 0.47 percent, at 25,213.49, the S&P 500 was down 1.84 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,811.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.95 points, or 0.31 percent, at 7,731.24. The materials group fell 1.2 percent as prices of copper and other base metals slipped. Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower.
Tesla jumped 9.5 percent after the electric car maker convinced investors that it was able to produce positive cash flow and turn a profit. DowDuPont fell 3.1 percent after the chemical producer said it expects higher raw material costs to hit all its units for the rest of the year. Shares of TripAdvisor and Cognizant slipped 14.4 percent and 6.8 percent after their earnings failed to impress investors.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 59 new highs and 65 new lows.