Apple Soars But Energy, Industrial Stocks Weigh on Market

NEW YORK (AP) -

Apple surged to its biggest gain in a year and a half Wednesday and drew closer to $1 trillion in value after it reported stronger iPhone sales and rising prices. But losses for energy and industrial companies left major stock indexes lower.

Already the most valuable company in the U.S., Apple was the biggest gainer of any S&P 500 stock Wednesday and the technology giant finished at another record high.

That made up for a lot of losses elsewhere in the market. Investors sold industrial stocks following reports that the Trump administration is considering a higher tax rate on Chinese imports. Energy and materials companies fell with the price of oil, and metals and car companies also declined.

After the close of trading, the administration said it might put a 25 percent tax on $200 billion in imports from China. It proposed a 10 percent tax in July, shortly after it placed a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of imports. China again threatened to retaliate.

The S&P 500 index slid 2.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,813.36. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 81.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,333.82.

The Nasdaq composite added 35.50 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,707.29, but the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 1.54 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,669.26. Almost two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange traded lower.

The S&P 500 index rose 3.6 percent in July in spite of the trade war between the U.S. and China. The markets got a lift from strong company earnings as well as efforts by the U.S. and European Union to resolve trade differences.

As expected, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, but suggested it’s likely to raise rates again in September. High-dividend stocks like consumer products makers sank as bond yields increased. Automakers fell as they reported their monthly sales and Ferrari plunged after it said it might not make some of the profit goals laid out by Sergio Marchionne, its late former CEO.

Apple surged 5.9 percent to $201.50. That gives Apple a value of $973 billion, based on its latest quarterly filing.

Bond prices sank. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3 percent from 2.96 percent.

Higher yields force interest rates on mortgages and other loans higher, making it more profitable for banks to lend money. However rising yields drew investors to bonds and away from high-dividend stocks like consumer goods makers.

SodaStream jumped 26.3 percent to $110.30 after the maker of beverage carbonation systems raised its annual forecasts following a strong quarterly report.

Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 2 percent to $67.66 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 2.5 percent to $72.39 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline sank 1.7 percent to $2.05 a gallon. Heating oil gave up 1.9 percent to $2.10 a gallon. Natural gas dipped 0.9 percent to $2.76 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The price of gold gave up 0.5 percent to $1,227.60 an ounce. Silver fell 0.7 percent to $15.45 an ounce and copper plunged 3 percent to $2.75 a pound.

The dollar fell to 111.56 yen from 111.83 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1664 from $1.1697.

Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.2 percent and Germany’s DAX fell 0.5 percent.