Another Day of Gains Looks Doubtful

The Dow and the S&P 500 rose Monday for the eighth time in two weeks, thanks to a healthy rise in the shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on the heels of a dividend and share buyback announcement.  The world’s most valuable company also said it sold a record three million new iPads in its weekend debut.

Apple shares closed above $600 for the first time Monday, helping to boost the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.

But Monday’s stock gains look like they’re disintegrating Tuesday morning, with U.S. stock futures indicating a pullback. (NASDAQ:AMZN) said it’s buying Kiva Systems for $775 million in cash, its largest acquisition since the purchase of shoe company in 2009. Kiva makes robots that can move items easily around warehouses. The robots can slide under shelves and bins, and bring products to human workers for packaging and shipping.  Kiva’s robots are currently used by Quidsi, the parent company of that Amazon acquired for about $545 million last year.  This deal may help Amazon to lower its production costs, which may mean the loss of jobs.

That’s exactly what’s may be happening at TNT Express. The takeover of the Dutch package shipper by United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) could cost up to 20,000 jobs, according to Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad.  TNT employs 77,000.

If you’re in the market for a used, small, fuel-efficient car, don’t expect any big deals or incentives. As gas prices rise for the 11th straight day to a national average of $3.85 according to AAA, Kelley Blue Book predicts that used compact-car values could rise 20% in the coming months.

The initial rise started at the end of last month, with used compacts increasing 1.3% to $12,229, while hybrid cars increased 3.6% to $16,974 in the last week of February, according to KBB.         Meanwhile, the burger brawl has a new winner; McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is still No. 1, but Wendy’s (NYSE:WEN) toke to second spot from Burger King for the first time since 1969. The full report, ranking sales for the top 500 restaurant chains in the U.S.,  is slated to be released April 13 by Technomic, a consulting and research firm serving the food industry.