Strong Apple results push US stocks higher
Dow Jones industrial average makes new record by pushing through 22,000 mark
The Dow has topped 22,000 points for the first time, bolstered by a 6% gain in Apple. Photograph: iStock
Ireland’s benchmark index closed lower by 0.87 per cent on Wednesday, a day when the Dow Jones industrial average achieved another milestone by pushing through the 22,000 mark.
In Europe the pan-European Stoxx 600 index closing lower by 1.63 per cent, weighed by a fall in mining stocks and banks.
It was Apple that helped lift the Dow as most global stocks dropped lower.
Despite a 3 per cent rise in second-quarter revenues, the value of packaging giant Smurfit Kappa fell as investors were concerned when the company said it would have to rely on continuing price increases. The stock fell 2.2 per cent to €25.315.
Permanent TSB continued its recent losing streak on Wednesday and dropped 4.24 per cent to €1.963. There was no stock-specific news, but traders suggested the stock is perceived as the weakest of the Irish banks, thus causing it to drift downwards. Bank of Ireland was dragged down by association, and fell 1.14 per cent.
Ryanair released its traffic statistics for July which showed record passenger numbers. The good news was tainted by Michael O’Leary’s continuing negativity surrounding Brexit which caused the stock to close down slightly on the day by 0.39 per cent.
Cairn Homes was one of the winners on Ireland’s benchmark index and closed up 3.37 per cent. Some traders suggested the move was down to the persistent news flow around the upward trend in house prices.
Ireland’s biggest company CRH fell through no fault of its own. Its US peer, Martin Marietta materials, missed its numbers, citing bad weather in the US. It also said it was cutting its guidance. As a result CRH fell 2.16 per cent.
Well-received earnings boosted shares in gambling firm William Hill, which jumped 6 per cent.
Standard Chartered fell more than 6 per cent as the bank dashed investors’ hopes of a return to a dividend payout.
Mining firms were the worst-performing, down 1.8 per cent on the back of weaker metals prices and disappointing results. Rio Tinto was the biggest weight, dropping 2.8 per cent after it reported first-half earnings which missed expectations. The firm also announced an interim dividend and an additional $1 billion share buyback.
Disappointing results from Société Générale and Commerzbank dragged on euro zone banks. Société Générale fell 4 per cent despite reporting earnings ahead of consensus estimates.
Tech stocks turned from a boost to a drag as trading wore on, but Apple suppliers Dialog Semiconductor and AMS held on to gains of 3 per cent and 4 per cent respectively after optimism on future demand for the iPhone lifted Apple shares to a record high overnight.
Luxury carmaker Ferrari raced to the bottom of Italy’s blue-chip index, down 3.5 per cent as the firm kept its full-year guidance, disappointing investors hoping for it to lift its outlook.
Lufthansa gained 3.2 per cent, the top DAX gainer after well-received results.
The Dow breached the 22,000 mark, powered by Apple’s stellar results, before stocks retreated sharply across sectors as investors locked in gains.
Apple jumped to a record high after the world’s largest publicly-listed company reported strong results and iPhone sales, and signalled its upcoming 10th anniversary phone is on schedule. The stock is up about 30 per cent this year.
Meanwhile, Microsoft and Facebook were among the top drags on both the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Garmin rose after posting strong corporate reports. Cardinal Health fell after the drug distributor’s 2018 profit forecast missed analysts’ estimate. – Additional reporting: Reuters