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Apple lifts the Dow above 22,000, but other stocks struggle

Wall Street
The New York Stock Exchange is seen on Wall Street.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

Being the world’s most valuable public company has its privileges, like getting almost all the credit for the latest stock market milestone. Apple made its biggest jump in six months Wednesday, helping send the Dow Jones industrial average above 22,000 points for the first time.

Apple’s latest profit and revenue were better than analysts expected, and the company’s strong sales forecast suggests it is confident the next iPhone will reach the market on time. The technology giant’s stock climbed to an all-time high. Some other tech companies, utilities and industrial firms rose too, and that was just barely enough to take the Standard & Poor’s 500 index higher.

Much of the rest of the market was mixed, and most of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange fell. Movie theater companies tumbled after AMC Entertainment said U.S. box office grosses were sinking. Healthcare companies fell as prescription drug distributor Cardinal Health gave a weak forecast, mostly because of falling generic drug prices. Retailers and shopping mall operators also fell.

The Dow rose 52.32 points, or 0.2%, to 22,016.24. Apple was responsible for 48 of those points.

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The S&P 500, a much broader market measure used by most professional investors, rose 1.22 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2,477.57.

The Nasdaq composite inched down 0.29 of a point to 6,362.65. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks slid 15.43 points, or 1.1%, to 1,412.90.

“The market’s not forgiving for any company that misses” Wall Street projections, Edward Jones investment strategist Kate Warne said. Overall, she said, investors seem pleased that companies are reporting rising profits based on greater revenue and strong demand instead of stock buybacks and other financial moves.

Apple climbed 4.7% to $157.14. That was the first time it set a record high in almost three months. Its stock had slipped recently, in part because some investors were worried that production problems would delay the launch of the next iPhone, which would have hurt the company’s sales during the current quarter. But Apple’s revenue estimate was better than expected and greater than for the same quarter last year, when the iPhone 7 was released.

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Movie theater operators and studios declined after AMC said U.S. box office receipts dropped 4.4% in the second quarter, and it expects the third quarter to be difficult too. AMC it also taking a charge of $200 million because its investment in another chain, National CineMedia, lost value. The company plans to slash costs by cutting operating hours and staff levels while trying to boost revenue with new pricing plans and discounts.

AMC shares dived 26.9% to $15.20. Cinemark Holdings sank 5.9% to $37.82. Walt Disney fell 1.8% to $108.67. CBS was down 1.9% to $64.81. Viacom slid 4.1% to $34.09.

Retailers also stumbled, which hurt smaller, U.S.-focused companies. Big 5 Sporting Goods sank 7.8% to $10.10 after it reported a weak profit and sales that fell short of analysts’ forecasts. Big 5 said sales of firearms, camping and water sports equipment declined, and its estimates for the current quarter fell short of Wall Street’s estimates.

Car retailer AutoNation dropped 7.2% to $38.96; it had a disappointing quarter as prices for used cars fell. Shopping mall operator GGP slid 4.9% to $21.91 after it said it didn’t plan to sell itself, and department store chain Nordstrom drooped 5% to $46.49 on reports the Nordstrom family might not succeed in taking the struggling company private.

Prescription drug distributor Cardinal Health sank 8.2% to $70.99 after it forecast a much smaller profit than analysts expected. The company said it’s being hurt by lower prices for generic drugs, as well as smaller increases in the prices of brand-name drugs and the loss of a contract with the Safeway grocery chain.

Genetic tools company Illumina jumped 14.8% to $197.85. It raised its projections for the rest of the year after demand for its NovaSeq genetic sequencing system was better than it expected.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 43 cents to $49.59 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 58 cents to $52.36 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $1.64 a gallon, heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.66 a gallon, and natural gas stayed at $2.81 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Bond prices inched down. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.27% from 2.25%.

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Gold fell $1 to $1,278.40 an ounce. Silver fell 3 cents to $16.73 an ounce. Copper stayed at $2.88 a pound.

The dollar rose to 110.61 yen from 110.30 yen. The euro rose to $1.1860 from $1.1801.

Germany’s DAX lost 0.6%, the CAC 40 in France shed 0.4%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 retreated 0.2%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index each rose 0.2%.

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UPDATES:

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3:05 p.m.: This article was updated with closing prices, context and analyst comment.

1:10 p.m.: This article was updated with the close of markets.

11:30 a.m.: This article was updated with market prices, context and analyst comment.

7:35 a.m.: This article was updated with market prices and context.

This article was originally published at 6:45 a.m.


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