NEW YORK: Enthusiasm about Apple’s latest product launches propelled US stocks higher Wednesday, with the tech-rich Nasdaq posting the largest gains of the three major indices.
The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 34.24 points (0.75 percent) to 4,586.52.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 54.84 (0.32 percent) to 17,068.71, while the broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 7.25 (0.36 percent) to 1,995.69.
Apple shares started slowly before picking up momentum and finishing the day more than 3 percent higher. Several analysts raved about its smartwatch and new mobile payment system, among the products unveiled Tuesday.
Other technology names also rose, including Twitter (+4.5 percent) and Facebook and Priceline (both +1.0 percent).
But eBay fell 3.1 percent on worries that the new Apple payment system threatens its own PayPal service.
Dow member ExxonMobil fell 0.6 percent as oil prices dropped to new multi-month lows. Caterpillar, another Dow component, shed 1.4 percent following a downgrade by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Wednesday’s trade showed an “outperformance by the glamor stocks, but the broad market is a little foggy,” said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management.
Dollar General launched a hostile takeover campaign for Family Dollar, offering $80 a share for the company and seeking to scuttle a rival bid from Dollar Tree for $74.50.
Family Dollar has said a deal with Dollar General would face major antitrust obstacles.
Dollar Tree slipped 0.2 percent, while Family Dollar gained 0.2 percent and Dollar General rose 0.4 percent.
Videogame publisher Activision Blizzard rose 0.3 percent after announcing that its new science fiction video game “Destiny” netted orders exceeding $500 million.
Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks vaulted 10.6 percent higher after it projected that revenues for the upcoming quarter would be $178-$182 million, above analyst forecasts for $173.9 million.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury advanced to 2.53 percent from 2.50 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year rose to 3.27 percent from 3.23 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.