Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) downloaded $45 billion, to borrow a phrase from the Financial Times, to its shareholders Monday, lifting both its own stock and an already buoyant equity market.
The Cupertino, Calif., technology company announced a share buyback worth as much as $10 billion and a dividend of $2.65, satisfying the investment world's curiosity about what it would do with its $98 billion in cash. Apple shares were up about 2.6 percent for the day.
The S&P 500, which has posted gains in 10 of the last 11 weeks, climbed to its highest level in nearly four years. So far this year, the index is up 12 percent, which Bespoke Investment Group says is the best such start since 1928.
Stocks. Asian equities settled lower, and European stocks closed down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,239.13, the Nasdaq Composite settled at 3,078.32 and the S&P 500 ended at 1,409.75. It is now about 10 percent from its all-time high of $1,565.15, set in October 2007.
Bonds. Treasurys fell for the ninth straight session, lifting the yield to 2.38 percent, but German 30-year bonds rose.
Currencies. The dollar fell 0.45 percent on the ICE US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies. The euro climbed above $1.32 and the yen climbed against the dollar, trading at ¥83.12 near the end of the session. India's rupee fell, as did Chile's peso.
Commodities. Crude oil, copper and gold all posted gains. Wheat fell nearly 2 percent on technical selling. Soybeans and corn closed lower on profit taking.