Stocks were little changed on Tuesday, amid little news, although the U.S. benchmark index suffered its first decline in eight sessions.
The S&P 500 closed at 1552.48, down 3.74 points or 0.2 per cent. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,450.06, up 2.77 points or nearly zero per cent – but good enough for a sixth straight record high and an eighth-straight gain. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index closed at 12,878.58, up 20.09 points or 0.2 per cent.
While there was little economic news for investors to chew on, U.S. Republicans unveiled a plan to balance the budget by slashing government spending by $4.6-trillion (U.S.) over the next 10 years – revealing the wide differences that still separate Republican from Democrat ideas.
Apple Inc., which is in the S&P 500 but not the Dow, fell 2.2 per cent. IDC reported that Apple is losing market share to tablets running Google Inc.’s Android software. The firm believes that iPads will control 46 per cent of the market in 2013, versus 49 per cent for Android tablets – marking the first year since the iPad’s debut in 2010 that Apple didn’t control a majority of the market.
Meanwhile, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek trimmed his 12-month price target on Apple, to $420 (U.S.) a share from $500, and warned of potential delays in the launch of its next iPhone.
Yum Brands Inc. rose 1.3 per cent after it reported that same-store sales in China fell 20 per cent in the first quarter, a less severe decline than analysts had been estimating. The sales decline followed news that one its Chinese chicken suppliers had used too many antibiotics in the meat used by KFC outlets.
Costco Wholesale Corp. fell 0.8 per cent after reporting net income of $547-million or $1.24 a share in the fiscal second quarter, up from 90 cents a share last year.
In Canada, the TSX was supported by a rally among gold producers after gold moved to $1,591.70 an ounce, up nearly $13.70. Barrick Gold Corp. rose 1.1 per cent and Goldcorp Inc. rose 2.2 per cent.
Research In Motion Ltd. fell 3 per cent, ending Monday’s rally that followed speculation that Lenovo is considering making a potential bid for the BlackBerry maker.