Apple was a major drag for the big stock market indexes.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 15,326.6, +135.5, +0.8 %
- S&P 500: 1,689.1, +5.1, +0.3%
- NASDAQ: 3,725.0, -4.0, -0.1%
And now the top stories:
- Wall Street's top gadget analysts punished Apple by publishing negative comments in the wake of yesterday's Apple product announcement. "We are downgrading Apple from Buy to Neutral on the concern that Apple's pricing strategy will hamper the company's ability to be competitive in key growth areas in the smartphone market, particularly in China," said UBS's Steven Milunovich. "We were surprised by the high price of the 5C ($549/649) at just $100 under the 5S without a contract, leaving little differentiation."
- The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey showed that mortgage applications plunged 13.5% during the week ending September 6. Refinancing activity fell 20% to its lowest level since 2009. Meanwhile, they said the 30-year conforming fixed mortgage rate jumped to 4.8% from 4.73% the week prior. There's no question that rising mortgage rates are impacting the housing market.
- "Housing is not the economic tailwind it used to be," said fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach in a webcast on Tuesday evening. Gundlach pointed to the current downtrend in the MBA mortgage index. But more importantly, he noted that the index never really rebounded with all of the other major housing indicators since the financial crisis.
- Treasury bond prices surged sending interest rates lower today after a strong auction of $21 billion worth of 10-year notes. This was encouraging, especially considering it came on the day that Verizon priced its massive $49 billion bond offering, the largest in corporate bond history.
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