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Wall Street Finishes Mixed as Apple Split Forces Dow Reshuffle

James Hyerczyk
·3 min read

The major U.S. stock indexes finished mixed on Tuesday. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite were up moderately before closing at record highs. But the Dow, which has yet to reclaim its February high, was firmly in the red.

Apple Inc weighed heaviest on all three indexes, its stock retreating 1.6% days ahead of its 4-to-1 stock split. Its weakness capped gains from positive developments in U.S.-China trade and fresh progress in the medical battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 3443.62, up 12.34 or +0.41%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 28248.44, down 60.02 or -0.24% and the technology-based NASDAQ Composite closed at 11466.47, up 86.75 or +0.91%.

Apple’s Split Leads to Dow Shake-Up

Apple’s stock split will reduce its weight in the Dow, which prompted a reshuffle in the blue-chip industrial average, with Salesforce.com replacing Exxon Mobil Corp, Amgen Inc taking Pfizer Inc’s spot, and Raytheon Technologies Corp ousted by Honeywell International Inc.

Salesforce.com, Amgen and Honeywell shares were up between about 3% and 5% as money managers scrambled to add them to their portfolios.

Mixed US Economic News

On the economic front, the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index plunged to a 6-year low this month, while a report from the Commerce Department showed sales of new homes in July surged to a more than 13-1/2 –year high.

Later in the week the Kansas City Fed will convene its virtual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, with U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expected to speak.

Trade and COVID-19 Chatter Remain at Forefront

Trade officials in Washington and Beijing reaffirmed their commitment to Phase One of a bilateral trade deal, but goodwill between the countries soured as China called a U.S. spy plane’s flight through a no-fly zone a “naked provocation.”

Meanwhile, British drugmaker AstraZeneca has begun trials of its antibody-based drug for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19, the latest development in a global race to combat the pandemic.

Stocks in the News

American Airlines Group Inc dropped 2.8% after announcing it would layoff 19,000 employees in October unless the government extends airline payroll aid.

Electronics chain Best Buy Inc beat analysts’ second-quarter sales expectations but warned of a current quarter slowdown following the work-from-home demand surge. Its shares were off 4.6%.

Medtronic rose 2.8% after the medical device maker’s quarterly profit beat consensus. The company said a revival in elective surgeries was boosting demand.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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