U.S. stocks decline on Europe concern after last week’s rally

Apple Jumps

Apple gained 0.8 percent to $697.03, its highest level on a closing basis since 1982. Pre-orders of its iPhone 5 topped 2 million units in one day, more than double the sales record set by the previous model of the device. Because demand for the iPhone 5 exceeds the initial supply, some pre-orders will be delivered to customers in October, rather than September as previously planned, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement.

Office Depot rose 6.1 percent to $2.62. Starboard Value, a New York-based investment firm, took a 13.3 percent stake in the company, becoming its largest shareholder, and said the retailer must improve its financial results.

Gilead Sciences Inc. rose 5.7 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $65.53 after JPMorgan analyst Geoff Meacham said the company AIDS drug, called Stribild, may emerge as a market leader based on a survey of 52 HIV specialists.

As politicians debate whether Americans are better off than they were four years ago, the stock market is saying yes. With 50 days before the national election, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has rallied 82 percent to a four-year high since President Barack Obama took office.

The advance puts the gauge closer to the all-time high than any of the world’s biggest stock markets, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The benchmark index of American equity is trading at 14.9 times reported earnings, the biggest discount to MSCI’s global measure since March 2010.

“We are in a healthier state right now,” Chris Hyzy, who helps oversee about $325 billion as chief investment officer of U.S. Trust in New York, said in a Sept. 12 phone interview. “Next year, we think the growth clip in the United States and the globe is going to be better than expected. Over the next three years, we are bullish.”

Bloomberg News

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