Sept. 11 - Summary: The benchmark S&P 500 rallies for the seventh day in a row despite weakness from tech caused by Apple; Investors gobble up Verizon's record $49 billion debt offering; mortgage demand slumps. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The stock market just makes it to a seven-day rally, but Apple holds back the tech sector. The Dow enjoys its third triple-digit gain in a row; the S&P 500 is up for the day, but the Nasdaq down slightly. Apple was downgraded by three Wall Street firms who were puzzled by the pricing strategy for the iPhone 5C unwrapped Tuesday. Some analysts complained that the supposed-to-be lower cost iPhone aimed at driving emerging market sales is not that low cost after all. UBS calling the price a "head scratcher." But there were some defenders, happy that Apple will guard how much it makes on each iPhone, its most profitable device. Nevertheless, the stock tumbled more than 5 percent, after falling the day before. Taking a quick look at how some Apple suppliers fared: Cirrus Logic, Qualcomm, Broadcom - all trading lower along with Apple. The other big story of the day - Verizon. Demand for its $49 billion bond offering, the largest ever, was overwhelming. And the size of the offering tops the next three corporate bond deals combined. The proceeds will be used to buyout Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless. Shares of Verizon - ended up slightly on the day. So what else was strong? IBM was up after agreeing to sell a unit for half a billion dollars. And blue chip manufacturers like United Technologies, Boeing, and 3M added to gains after positive data out of China. News signs of how costly it now is to get a home loan. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is at 4.8 percent, the second time we've seen that high for the year. The result: demand for home loans is down to lows not seen since the housing industry grappled with the financial crisis. In Europe, stocks nudged higher as investors warm up to the idea that a European recovery is holding form.