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James Hyerczyk
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A rebound in technology stocks sent U.S. equity markets higher on Tuesday, offsetting concerns over an escalation of the trade dispute between the United States and China. A surge in crude oil prices also helped lift the energy sector. Gains were spread between numerous sectors and individual equities.

The Apple annual iPhone event starts at 10 AM Pacific time (17:00 GMT). Apple is expected to release three new iPhone, the new Apple Watch Series 4, the release date and price for the AirPower Pad and the AirPod Headphones. Watch the Apple September event here:

In the cash market, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 2887.89, up 10.76 or +0.37%. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 25971.06, up 113.99 or +0.44% and the tech-driven NASDAQ Composite finished at 7972.96, up 48.80 or +0.62%.

Stocks opened slightly weaker on Tuesday as investors expressed concerns over lingering trade issues. The threat of additional tariffs on China by the U.S. has been hovering over the market since Friday. President Trump says he was “ready to go” on hitting China with an additional $267 billion worth of tariffs. Meanwhile, a report said China will seek authorization from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to slap sanctions on the United States as trade tensions between the two largest world economies grow.

Furthermore, the U.S. and Canada have also failed to reach a deal on NAFTA, and late last week, Trump said that Japan would be next in line for fresh tariffs.

Tech shares were boosted by a 2.5 percent gain in shares of Apple. Helping to encourage buying were analysts at UBS, who raised their price target to $250 from $215, citing the potential growth of the company’s services business. Additionally, speculators jumped on-board ahead of a big marketing event at company headquarters on Wednesday, where it’s expected to announce several new products.

Other technology stocks posting solid gains were Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter. Despite the rally, social media stocks still face headwinds due to potentially increasing regulatory pressures.

U.S. Economic Reports

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that small business optimism jumped to a record high last month, boosted by lower taxes and looser regulations. The report showed its index climbing to 108.8, up from 107.9. Economists had forecast a move to 108.1.

Final Wholesale Inventories posted a 0.6% gain. This was a positive because it came in lower than the 0.7% estimate and previous month.

The JOLTS Job Openings report jumped to 6.94 Million. The previous month was revised upward to 6.82 Million. Investors were looking for a reading of 6.68 Million. U.S. job openings surged to a record high in July and more Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, pointing to sustained labor market strength and confidence that could soon spur faster wage growth.

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