US stocks : Dow up 0.2 pct
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US stocks closing: U.S. stocks eked out small gains on Thursday in another uninspiring session on Wall Street, with worries about weak business spending keeping investors wary.
After the close of trading, Apple Inc, the most valuable public company in the United States, posted quarterly earnings that fell short of expectations. Apple's earnings per share came in at $8.67, compared with Wall Street's estimate for $8.75 a share. Tr a d ing of Apple's stock was halted after the close and ahead of the earnings, but trading resumed at about 4:50 p.m. Apple's stock fell 1.4 percent to $600.71 in extended-hours trading after its results, though it was down 4 percent when trading resumed.
Equity futures fell on the news, with S&P 500 futures dropping 3 points to 1,405.20, signaling a possible fall in stocks on Friday.
The Nasdaq 100 Powershares exchange-traded fund, which tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index, dropped 0.7 percent i n after-hours trading following Apple's results. Apple accounts for 19 percent of that index's value.
The broad S&P 500 has declined 3.6 percent over the previous five sessions before a modest rebound Thursday. A string of high-profile disappointments pointing to weak global demand has sapped buying enthusiasm after what has been a strong run in 2012.
There were a few bright spots during the day, such as Procter & Gamble, which rose 2.9 percent to end the regular session at $70.07 after reporting stronger-than-expected results. But that was not enough to motivate investors reeling from a sharp decline in recent days.
U.S. durable goods orders rose more than expected in September, though orders excluding volatile defense goods and aircraft were unchanged, and business investment showed signs of stalling.
Global concerns are always in the background and people haven't forgotten about it. That's what markets on Friday and earlier this week told us, said Jaewoo Nakajima, associate managing director at International Strategy and Investment Group, in New York.
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