Apple lifts Nasdaq as trade war fears hit Dow

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished mixed on Wednesday (Aug 1), with the Nasdaq lifted by strong Apple results while trade-war fears weighed on the Dow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a loss of 0.3 per cent at 25,333.82, and the broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.1 per cent to 2,813.41.

But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent to close the day at 7,707.29.

US stocks opened the session with positive momentum following Apple's strong results and good US private-sector hiring data.

But markets pulled back following reports President Donald Trump plans to increase tariffs on the next round of Chinese goods subject to punitive action.

Sentiment also was hit by a rise in the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond above the psychologically important three percent level.

The Federal Reserve, as expected, kept interest rates unchanged, but the central bank signaled more rate hikes are in the works as it described US growth as "strong," an upgrade on its prior assessment.

Apple jumped 5.9 per cent after reporting profit rose more than 30 per cent to US$11.5 billion (S$15.6 billion) in the recently ended quarter, besting market expectations despite selling fewer iPhones than analysts projected.

The solid earnings lifted Apple, already the world's biggest company by market capitalisation, closer to the US$1 trillion mark.

US-traded shares of Ferrari dived 11.1 per cent after its new chief executive lowered expectations of growth at the car company.

Caesars Entertainment plummeted 14.8 per cent as executives said on a conference call that tourism bookings had weakened. Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts also fell.