Equities mixed as Apple soars: Morning market insights

US equities were mixed last night after rallying yesterday. The Bank of America (BAC:US) rose 4.12% to $US8.84 overnight, building on its 7% rise yesterday,  after announcing a legal deal with New York state over contentious mortgage databases. Bank of America is one of the five biggest companies in the world.

Wall Street

On the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.12% to 13194.10.

The S&P500 Index was also flat, down 0.12%, or 1.67 points, to 1394.28.

The NASDAQ Index was 0.03% up to 3040.73, maintaining big gains made yesterday.

American Express (AXP:US) rose 3.50% in the first hour after announcing the day before it would increase its quarterly dividend 11% and was considering repurchasing as much as $5 billion of its stock. It maintained the gains all day to finish at $US56.15. American Express is the biggest credit-card issuer by customer spending.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil was trading 1.00% down to US$105.64 a barrel overnight. Gold plunged 2.92% to US$1644.80 an ounce.

One Australian dollar was buying $US 1.0454 in New York at 8.34am ASET this morning after falling 0.7 cents.

Europe

UK and European equity indexes were mixed overnight. Fitch Ratings revised the United Kingdom’s sovereign long-term issuer default rating from stable to negative.

“The revision of the rating outlook to negative from stable reflects the very limited fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic shocks in light of such elevated debt levels and a potentially weaker-than-currently forecast economic recovery,” Fitch said today in a statement.

London’s Office for National Statistics in London released figures overnight showing unemployment in the UK remains at 16-year highs. Unemployment benefit claims have grown month-on-month for the last 12 consecutive months.

London’s FTSE 100 closed flat overnight, down 0.18% to 5945.43.

The German DAX rallied up 1.19%, or 83.51 points, to 7079.42.

The European blue chip Stoxx50 index was up 0.70% to 2574.79.

Apple flush with cash

Apple (AAPL:US) rose 3.78% overnight to a record $US589.58 and analysts are forecasting it could soar more than 20% on the back of the new iPad, which goes on sale tomorrow. Apple reportedly has reserves of more than $US97.60 billion in cash – and no debt.

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