Apple holds back S&P, Nasdaq; Dow ends higher
NEW YORK — Apple spoiled the stock market’s party on Friday.
Stocks shot higher in the early morning, after the government reported the U.S. added jobs in November. But Apple, which has been flailing in recent weeks as investors wonder how long its momentum can continue, dragged down the indexes that it’s part of.
The Dow Jones industrial average, which doesn’t include Apple, rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq, which do, were less impressive. The S&P rose by a smaller amount, and the Nasdaq fell.
The headline numbers from the jobs report sent the market higher in early trading. The Labor Department said the U.S. added 146,000 jobs last month, more than economists had expected. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent, the lowest in nearly four years.
The overall report, however, painted a more restrained view of the economy.
“If you delve into that report a little more, there are some disturbing issues,” said Brian Lund, who is based in Los Angeles as executive vice president and co-founder of the online brokerage Ditto Trade.
Among them: The unemployment rate fell largely because discouraged unemployed workers stopped looking for work, which meant they were no longer counted among the unemployed. Also, the Labor Department revised previously released jobs numbers downward, saying employers added 49,000 fewer jobs in October and September than initially estimated.
At the end of the day, the Dow was up 81.09 points to 13,155.13. The S&P 500, where Apple’s weight is 4 percent, was up but by a smaller proportion, rising 4.13 to 1,418.07. The Nasdaq composite index, where Apple accounts for a hefty 12 percent, fell 11.23 to 2,978.04.
Apple fell $13.99 to $533.25, or 2.6 percent. That’s part of a longer trend: Apple’s stock has plunged nearly 24 percent since the iPhone 5 went on sale Sept. 21. Investors are wondering how long the company can keep the momentum going with its popular iPhone and iPad devices.
Outside of Apple, there’s another significant cloud hanging over the market. Congress and the White House are trying to hammer out an agreement on government spending and tax rates before Jan. 1. If they don’t, lower government spending and higher taxes will kick in, a situation that’s been nicknamed the “fiscal cliff.”
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.63 percent from 1.59 percent late Thursday, a sign that investors were putting more money in stocks.