Apple Gains Help Push Major Indexes to Records

By David Hodari and Corrie Driebusch Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks hold steady after jobs report

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-- Apple shares jump

-- Spanish stocks drop on political tensions

A sharp rise in Apple's stock helped catapult three major U.S. stock indexes to close the week with records.

Investors faced a string of potentially market-moving announcements over the past week, from the House Republicans' plans for a tax overhaul, to a Federal Reserve meeting to the October jobs report. Through it all, the stock market remained resilient, traders said.

"Investors don't want to miss the next new high tomorrow," said Nicholas Angilletta, head of capital markets for Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Americas.

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 49.49 points, or 0.7%, to 6764.44 on Friday after Apple delivered its best quarterly growth in two years. It marked the index's 63rd record close in 2017, setting a new all-time high for number of records hit in a calendar year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 22.93 points, or 0.1%, to 23539.19, while the S&P 500 added 7.99 points, or 0.3%, to 2587.84.

Both indexes notched their eighth consecutive weekly gains, their longest winning streak in nearly four years. It also was the 25th time the three major U.S. stock indexes closed at records together on the same day.

Apple shares jumped $4.39, or 2.6%, to $172.50 on Friday, putting its year-to-date gain at 49%. Global technology shares mostly moved higher in concert, also supported by upbeat results from Alibaba and other U.S.-listed tech giants earlier this week. In Europe, shares of chip-gear firm ASML Holding rose 1.2%, chip maker Infineon Technologies added 1.7% and semiconductor maker STMicroelectronics climbed 2.7%. In Taiwan, shares of Largan Precision were up 3.6%.

In addition to Apple's earnings, attention among U.S. investors also rested on the October jobs report, a key indicator of the strength of the economy. The report showed a gain of 261,000 jobs in the past month, according to the Labor Department, a pickup from the prior month, but below the 315,000 jobs expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The closely watched wage-growth figure showed wages rose 2.4% from a year earlier, a slowdown from the prior month.

On Friday, investors also continued to parse the details of a Republican tax bill and the nomination of Fed governor Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the central bank. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.343%, from 2.347% on Thursday. Yields fall as prices rise.

"We think tax reform is more likely than the market thinks it is," said Jon Adams, investment strategist with BMO Global Asset Management, noting expectations for a tax cut in 2018 are one of the reasons for the asset manager's modest preference for equities over bonds.

Still, "this is a very fluid process and it's likely that there will be a lot of change to what is currently being proposed," he added.

Oil prices rose to their highest levels since July 2015 on investor hopes that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will extend its deal to cut production. U.S.-traded crude oil for December delivery rose 2% to $55.64 a barrel on Friday, putting its weekly gain at 3.2%. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 added 1.7% in the past week, making it the best-performing sector after technology.

In Europe, Spanish bank shares fell, dragging Spain's IBEX 35 down 1%. A prosecutor asked a Spanish court on Thursday to issue an arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont, the leader of Catalonia's secessionist movement who fled to Belgium to escape authorities in Spain.

Asia-Pacific equities were little changed. Chinese tech giant Tencent rose 1.7% to a fresh record after peer Alibaba reported positive quarterly results. The gain helped Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index -- of which Tencent is the largest component -- rise 0.3%.

-- Riva Gold

contributed to this article.

Write to David Hodari at David.Hodari@dowjones.com and Corrie Driebusch at corrie.driebusch@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 03, 2017 18:05 ET (22:05 GMT)