Sept. 21 - Summary of business headlines: Apple shares give the Nasdaq a slight bump as global consumers line-up for the iPhone 5, but the rest of Wall Street ends down; KB Home posts surprise quarterly results; Darden beats forecasts; Spain moves closer to bailout. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street lacked enough energy for a major breakout and drifted near the flat line. The Dow and S&P 500 marking a loss, but the Nasdaq a small gain. For the week: The Dow and Nasdaq each fell one-tenth of one percent. The center of gravity seemed to shift from Wall Street to Fifth Avenue. That's where Apple's flagship store is located. Thousands were on hand at this location and many more around the world for the return of the iPhone. STAND-UP: CONWAY G. GITTENS, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In the era of full disclosure, I'm a Samsung kind of guy. Yes it's kind of big thank you very much. But here's the truth: despite the onslaught of Android phones, scandals, and an Apple 5 that's only a little bit better than the 4S, Americans are still willing to stand on long lines, for hours just to get their hands on the Apple iPhone." That's one reason why shares are trading near lifetime highs above $700. Avi Greengart of Current Analysis: SOUNDBITE: AVI GREENGART, RESEARCH DIRECTOR FOR CONSUMER DEVICES, CURRENT ANALYSIS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think it's more than just the brand. Apple certainly has a great brand. And iPhone has a great brand. But I think consumers have come along to understand that they are buying into an ecosystem and an ecosystem means the type of apps that they can have, the type of content they can use, and then of course there is the phone itself." But there was more than just phones to talk about. KB Home posted a surprise profit. Quarterly results from the No. 5 U.S. homebuilder offers more hope a housing recovery is on track. Shares surged 16 percent to their best close since January 2011. Darden Restaurants is another earnings story. The parent of Red Lobster and other casual dining chains beat forecasts. In Europe: a hint that Spain may be preparing to request an official bailout gave investors a reason to buy stocks. Conway Gittens, Reuters