Wednesday August 2nd


Apple, tech stocks soar, set to lead the Dow to a 22,000 record

Shares of Apple surged nearly 6 percent in the premarket Wednesday, putting the Dow Jones industrial average within striking distance of 22,000. Apple's stock surged after the tech giant reported quarterly results that blew expectations out of the water on Tuesday. The company reported earnings per share of $1.67 on revenue of $45.4 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters expected earnings per share of $1.57 on revenue of $44.89 billion. If Apple opens Wednesday where it is trading after hours, it would be a new record for the stock. The gains in Apple would also theoretically add more than 50 points to the Dow, which would push it above 22,000 at Wednesday's open. The Dow posted a record close of 21,963.92 on Tuesday, just 36.08 points shy of 22,000. The Nasdaq 100 — which is composed of the 100 largest components in the Nasdaq composite — would also receive a lift from Apple. Nasdaq 100 futures pointed to a 0.66 percent gain at Wednesday's open. The PowerShares QQQ Trust exchange-traded fund, which tracks the Nasdaq 100, climbed 0.62 percent before the bell. Other tech stocks also gained in extended trading, with Alphabet, Netflix and Amazon shares all higher. "Given that Tech and particularly 'FANG' stocks have been under pressure over the last couple weeks, this very well might serve as a positive catalyst if these levels can hold through Wednesday's close," Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors, said in a note. Asia markets closed mixed on Wednesday, with technology shares gaining after Apple earnings and as investors digested Asia corporate results. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.47 percent, or 94.25 points, to close at 20,080.04. Across the Korean strait, South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.19 percent, or 4.67 points, to end at 2,427.63, boosted by gains in several major tech names. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.3 percent by 3:23 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite reversed gains made earlier in the session to close down 1.2 percent, or 6.6229 points, at 3,286.0154, while the Shenzhen Composite slipped 0.699 percent, or 13.1511 points, to end at 1,869.3168. Oil prices pared overnight losses on Wednesday to trade roughly flat ahead of U.S. government data expected to show a drop in the nation's stockpile of crude oil. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude were down 9 cents to $49.07 per barrel by 7:30 a.m. ET (1130 GMT). That came after the contract opened above $50 for the first time since May 25 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, was up 2 cents at $51.80 per barrel. Gold edged down from a seven-week high on Wednesday as investors took profits following a recent rally, with strong economic growth in Europe and rising U.S. stock markets encouraging a shift to riskier assets. But gold prices were supported by doubts U.S. interest rates would rise quickly while the market awaited U.S. payroll data on Friday for further clues. Spot gold was down 0.12 percent at $1,266.75 an ounce. On Tuesday it touched $1,273.97, the highest since June 14, having risen nearly 6 percent from a low in early July. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were 0.5 percent lower at $1,272.60 an ounce.