MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Ends Above 22,000 Milestone With Help From Apple

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Broader market struggles; telecom shares suffer

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The Dow traded and finished above the 22,000 threshold for the first time on Wednesday, with sharp gains for Apple helping the blue-chip index to notch its seventh straight daily rise as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq struggled.

Major indexes opened higher a day after Apple Inc.(AAPL) posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-shares-soar-as-fiscal-third-quarter-earnings-beat-expectations-2017-08-01) and iPhone sales that met expectations. Its stock rose 4.7% and hit a record.

The tech giant is the market's largest stock by market value, which means it has an outsize weight on the overall moves of all three major indexes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.32 points, or 0.2%, to close at 22,016.24, with gains powered largely by Apple. Earlier, the average touched an intraday high of 22,036.10.

Opinion:Why Dow 22,000 is not good news for most Americans (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-dow-22000-is-not-good-news-for-most-americans-2017-08-02)

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The S&P 500 ended with a gain of 1.22 points, or less than 0.1%, at 2,477.57. Telecom shares shed 1.1% as shares of AT&T Inc.(T) declined 1.6% and Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) lost 1.3%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index finished down 0.29 point at 6,362.65.

Read:Apple's earnings-driven gain puts the Dow on pace to top 22,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apples-earnings-driven-gain-puts-the-dow-on-pace-to-top-22000-2017-08-02)

Wall Street remains solidly higher for 2017, with major indexes having hit a series of records. However, the rally has left valuations stretched.

"People are saying the move has been overdone, but they've been saying that for a while," said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. "Valuations do look stretched relative to historical norms, but investors are looking a little farther out, and valuations don't look that bad in that context."

"Overall, earnings have been coming in good this season, with stocks beating on revenue and profits," Jacobsen said. "The fact that the market is still reacting to that in a positive way tells me that stocks aren't in a bubble, that there's fundamental support."

Read: How each Dow stock contributed to the 22,000 milestone (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-each-dow-stock-contributed-to-the-22000-milestone-2017-08-02)

Apple has been one of the market's biggest gainers thus far this year, up 36%. The results could provide support to the idea that technology stock valuations are justified by their levels of growth.

Read: A quarter of S&P 500's 2017 climb due to five stocks (yes, those five) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-quarter-of-sp-500s-2017-climb-due-to-five-stocks-yes-those-five-2017-07-27)

Don't miss:One giant reason why tech bubble talk may simply be overblown (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-giant-reason-why-tech-bubble-talk-may-simply-be-overblown-2017-08-02)

Adding to the positive tone on the day, private-sector hiring remained strong in July (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/private-sector-continues-to-see-strong-job-gains-in-july-adp-says-2017-08-02)as employers added 178,000 jobs in the month, more than had been expected, according to ADP. The report is often watched for clues to the strength of official employment data, though the correlation between the ADP figures and government data is weak.

Investors are in a holding pattern in advance of the Friday jobs report, said Bill Stone, global chief investment strategist at PNC Management Group. Apple is an outlier Wednesday as many investors were expecting the tech giant to have a tough quarter, Stone said.

"Everybody's waiting for Friday for more indication of what the Fed may do," Stone said in an interview. Of particular interest will be average hourly wages, Stone said, because if they rise, it would be an indication that inflation may not be as soft as expected, and support the argument for more tightening from the central bank.

Read:Apple's earnings have Wall Street learning to 'stop worrying and love the super cycle' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apples-earnings-have-wall-street-learning-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-super-cycle-2017-08-02)

In the energy sector, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) sank about 11% while Range Resources Corp. (RRC) lost nearly 12%, leading the sector's declines.

Among other movers, Match Group Inc.(MTCH) rose 4.2% after the online-dating company late Tuesday turned in earnings that fell short of forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/match-group-shares-slip-after-earnings-miss-announced-leadership-shuffle-2017-08-01) but also announced a new chief executive.

Health-plan administrator Humana Inc.(HUM) reported earnings that beat forecasts and lifted its full-year outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/humana-beats-profit-expectatons-and-lifts-outlook-but-revenue-falls-shy-2017-08-02). Shares of Humana gained 4.5%.

Burger King-parent Restaurant Brands International Inc.(QSR) missed profit forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/burger-king-parent-restaurant-brands-misses-profit-revenue-estimates-2017-08-02). Restaurant Brands advanced 0.7%.

Illumina Inc.(ILMN) shares jumped 14.8% after the DNA-sequencing company reported strong revenue results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/illumina-shares-rally-as-revenue-tops-street-view-2017-08-01) late Tuesday.

Cardinal Health Inc.(CAH) shares dropped 8.2% following a downbeat outlook (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cardinal-health-stock-drops-3-on-downbeat-fiscal-2018-guidance-2017-08-02) for the year, while DaVita Inc.(DVA) shares fell almost 9% following earnings.

Mondelez International Inc.(MDLZ) topped earnings forecasts and said its CEO Irene Rosenfeld will step down effective November. Shares rose 1.1%.

Time Warner Inc. (TWX) rose 0.1% after its earnings easily beat forecasts.

Shares of Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) gained 3% after its results.

And after the market closes, Tesla Inc.(TSLA), Fitbit Inc.(FIT) and American International Group Inc.(AIG) were among major companies slated to report.

Live blog: (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-earnings-will-model-3-live-up-to-the-hype-2017-07-27)Tesla earnings arrive amid drive toward Model 3 (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2017/08/02/tesla-earnings-arrive-amid-drive-toward-model-3-live-blog/)

Opinion:U.S. economy needs to create 4.4 million more jobs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/economy-needs-to-create-44-million-more-jobs-2017-07-31)

In Federal Reserve news, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-should-keep-to-its-slow-tightening-pace-even-with-tepid-inflation-mester-says-2017-08-02)said the Fed should keep its slow tightening pace even with soft inflation.

San Francisco Fed president John Williams during a speech in Las Vegas (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-williams-wants-to-start-shrinking-the-balance-sheet-this-fall-2017-08-02) said the central bank could start shrinking is $4.5 trillion asset portfolio in "the fall" and indicated that he expects inflation to return to levels considered healthy by the Fed.

Other markets:Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-remains-lower-after-smaller-than-expected-inventory-drop-2017-08-02) rose 0.9% to settle at $49.59 a barrel. Earlier, the Energy Information Administration said that crude-oil inventories fell by 1.5 million barrels last week.

Gold (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-slides-from-a-nearly-8-week-high-even-as-dollar-remains-under-pressure-2017-08-02) settled down $1 at $1,278.40 an ounce, just below a nearly eight-week high.

Asian markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-get-boost-from-apples-strong-earnings-2017-08-01), while European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-struggle-as-oil-and-bank-shares-are-dragged-down-2017-08-02) ended the day lower.

--Sara Sjolin in London contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2017 16:37 ET (20:37 GMT)