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US stocks push higher, Apple recovers

Dec 07 2012 07:49 AFP


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New York - US stocks finished in positive territory on Thursday after circling the breakeven line for much of the session, with a mild rebound by volatile Apple buoying the Nasdaq for a 0.5% gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,074.04, up 39.55 points.

The S&P 500 added 4.66 at 1,413.94, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 15.57 at 2,989.27.

Market giant Apple ended the day 1.6% higher at $547.24, a day after losing 6.4% in its worst one-day drop in four years.

Investors continued to dump shares of copper miner Freeport-McMoRan after it announced a $9bn deal to buy two US oil and gas firms at hefty premiums.

The deals were widely criticised as appearing to heavily benefit the board members and top shareholders in Freeport that also had interests in the other two companies, McMoRan Exploration and Plains Exploration.

Freeport shares closed down 4.2%, after losing 16% on Wednesday.

Plains lost 3.0% and McMoRan 5.1%.

Intel led the Dow gainers picking up 1.6%, while AT&T topped a handful of losers, down 0.8%.

Casino operator MGM Resorts surged 10% after gaining an upgrade on its debt from Standard & Poor's, to B+ from B-.

Starbucks rose 5.7% after settling a British tax spat with a commitment to pay around $16.1m in corporate taxes in Britain in each of the next two years, after being tarred by politicians as a tax dodger.

Bond prices gained. The 10-year US Treasury yield dipped to 1.58% from 1.59% late on Wednesday, while the 30-year fell to 2.76% from 2.78%.

Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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