Trader Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, May 4, 2018. Stocks opened moderately lower across the board, putting the market on track for its fourth loss this week. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks jump, with Buffett helping Apple to new highs

May 04, 2018 - 3:45 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are jumping Friday as Apple rises to an all-time high after Warren Buffett said his company bought more of Apple's stock. That's helping a rally for technology companies. Retailers, banks and most other groups of stocks are also higher.

A slightly disappointing April jobs report didn't have much effect on the market. Trade talks between the U.S. and China ended without a deal, but that wasn't a big surprise to Wall Street.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index climbed 37 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,667 at 3:35 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 365 points, or 1.5 percent, to 24,295. The Nasdaq composite jumped 129 points, or 1.8 percent, to 7,217. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 21 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,568.

It's been two weeks of choppy trading on Wall Street. Stocks fell 0.1 percent last week and are doing the same this week.

POLISHED: Apple rose 4.1 percent to $184.15 after Warren Buffett told CNBC his company bought another 75 million shares in the tech giant, giving it more than 240 million shares altogether. Buffett told CNBC about the purchase ahead of Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting this weekend. Berkshire stock rose 1.6 percent to $194.59.

Apple has climbed 13 percent this week after the company reported solid results at the start of the year and investors were pleased with its forecast of solid iPhone sales, which came as a relief to investors. It also raised its dividend and announced a big stock repurchase.

Elsewhere in the technology industry, Alphabet rose 2.2 percent to $1,049.34 and Cisco Systems added 1.9 percent to $45.28.

THE QUOTE: "We went into this earnings season with very high expectations," said Quincy Krosby, chief markets strategist for Prudential Financial. "When you go in with such high expectations, you expect near perfection."

On Friday, companies delivered and investors responded. After better-than-expected reports, burger chain Shake Shack surged 20 percent to $56.88 while music streaming company Pandora Media advanced 20 percent to $6.90. Video game maker Activision Blizzard gained 4.4 percent to $69.75. The stock had dipped Thursday afternoon after Activision's results were released early.

JOBS: U.S. employers stepped up hiring modestly in April, and the hiring estimate from March was revised higher. That's evident the economy remains resilient even though some businesses are concerned about a possible trade war. While many employers say it's difficult to find qualified workers, they have yet to significantly boost pay in most industries, a trend that continued last month.

"That may not be good for Main Street, but it's what Wall Street wanted to see," said Krosby.

TRADE TALKS: The Trump administration asked China to reduce its trade deficit with the U.S. by $200 billion by the end of 2020, striking an assertive stance in talks aimed at averting a trade war between the world's largest economies. It also wants China to immediately stop providing subsidies to certain industries listed in a key industrial plan and end some of its policies related to technology transfers, a key source of tension underlying the dispute. While the trade tensions have rattled investors, many market watchers think the two sides will eventually come to a deal that doesn't disrupt trade much.

UNDERPOWERED: Engineering and construction company Fluor plunged after it slashed its profit forecast because a gas-fired power project suffered "continued challenges." The company took an unexpected loss in the first quarter and now expects a profit of $2.10 to $2.50 per share for the year, down from 2$3.10 to $3.50 per share. The stock dropped 22.3 percent to $45.84.

BONDS: Bond prices rose early, but later gave up that gain. The yield on the 2-year Treasury note rose to 2.50 percent from 2.48 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.95 percent. That helped banks recover from an early loss. Lower bond yields mean lower rates for mortgages and other types of loans, which reduces profits for banks. Companies that pay big dividends didn't rise as much as the rest of the market.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.9 percent to $69.72 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 1.7 percent to $74.87 per barrel in London.

Wholesale gasoline jumped 1.3 percent to $2.11 a gallon. Heating oil climbed 2 percent to $2.15 a gallon. Natural gas lost 0.6 percent to $2.71 per 1,000 cubic feet.

METALS: Gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,314.70 an ounce. Silver added 0.4 percent to $16.52 an ounce. Copper rose 0.2 percent to $3.09 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.11 yen from 109.73 yen. The euro fell to $1.1962 from $1.1993.

OVERSEAS: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent and the DAX in Germany added 1 percent. France's CAC 40 gained 0.3 percent. The South Korean Kospi sank 1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 1.3 percent. Markets in Japan remained closed for a public holiday.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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