Stocks were higher on Wednesday during a quiet session that saw little in the way of economic data as the tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied as Apple gained following its huge product announcement on Tuesday.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,067.78, +53.9, (+0.3%)
- S&P 500: 1,995.92, +7.5, (+0.4%)
- Nasdaq: 4,585.64, +33.4, (+0.7%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
1. On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that wholesale inventories rose 0.1% month-over-month in July, less than the 0.5% increase that was expected. In June, wholesale inventories rose 0.2%
2. The next FOMC meeting is now just one week away, and on Wednesday the Kansas City Fed released its latest Labour Market Conditions Indicators report, which showed that labour market activity remains near historically high levels. Following the report, Chris Rupkey at MUFG Union Bank said the report shows that, “Net net, the labour market is moving closer to the full employment finish line with today’s improvement in the Kansas City Fed’s Labour Market Conditions Indicators. Good news for the economy.”
3. On Tuesday, Apple announced its much anticipated iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but the announcement was a disappointment for GT Advanced Technologies. GT Advanced makes scratch-resistant sapphire displays, which were not featured on the front of the newest iPhone models, but will be featured on Apple Watch, which is set for release in early 2015. GT Advanced shares fell by more than 12% on Tuesday following the news, and lost another 14% on Wednesday.
4. Twitter shares gained nearly 5% after analysts at UBS upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral, citing improving trends in the online digital advertising market. UBS analyst Eric Sheridan and his team also raised their profit and revenue outlooks for Twitter through 2018, with the firm expecting Twitter’s revenue to be more than $US6.2 billion by the end of that year.
5. Shares of Chinese internet data company 21Vianet were down as much as 30% at one point on Wednesday after independent research firm Trinity Research called the company a Ponzi scheme in a new research report. 21Vianet shares finished Wednesday’s session down about 11%.
6. RadioShack shares were down more than 10% on Wednesday after analysts at Wedbush cut their price target on the struggling electronics retailer to $US0. “Our price target reflects our expectation that creditors will force a reorganization and wipe out RadioShack’s equity,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note.
7. Apple shares gained nearly 3% on Wednesday, the first full day of trading after the company announced two new iPhones, a new mobile payment system, and Apple Watch.
8. A week from Thursday, voters in Scotland are set to take to the polls to vote on independence from U.K., and BI’s Joe Weisenthal highlighted one paragraph you need to read if you’re in favour of Scottish independence. Analysts at Credit Suisse wrote: “Risk of an economic crisis: In our opinion Scotland would fall into a deep recession.”