Dow falls but NASDAQ buoyed by resurgent Apple

The Dow and the S&P have struggled in negative territory today, but strong earnings from Apple have helped keep the NASDAQ out of the red.

Weak quarterly reports from Caterpillar and AT&T contributed to the Dow’s decline today, as it slid 0.32% or 49 points to 15,518 after achieving its highest ever closing level yesterday. The S&P retreated even more than the Dow, shedding 0.54% or 9 points to 1683.

Apple led the gainers in the NASDAQ 100, after the iPhone maker beat consensus estimates for both earnings and revenue. Apple had risen 6% near the end of trading in New York and that helped the NASDAQ to advance 0.17% to 3037.

The earnings seasons got off to a strong start, but a raft of downbeat reports this week have pulled things more in line with the historical average, with 66% of S&P companies having beaten earnings expectation so far.

We have some more big names from the technology sector reporting tonight, with Qualcomm and Facebook, and another Dow component reports tomorrow in the form of 3M.

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