8-14-13 4:13 PM EDT | Email Article
 

By Sue Chang and Saumya Vaishampayan, MarketWatch

 

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Apple Inc. on Wednesday traded above $500 for the first time in six months but pared gains to close below the key level.

 

Top Tickers Trending

 

$AAPL: Apple (AAPL) shares added 1.8% to end at $498.50 on the back of strong support from billionaire activist Carl Icahn who revealed Tuesday on Twitter that he had taken a "large position" in the company. The last time the stock has finished above $500 was on Jan. 23, when it closed at $514.01.

 

Separately, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison, a longtime friend of Steve Jobs, said the iPhone maker wasn't going to be as successful without Jobs at the helm.

 

The opposing views have prompted speculation that Apple will become the next target of a new battle of the billionaires.

 

$UPS: United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) shares were 0.3% lower following the crash of a cargo plane operated by the company. The Airbus A300 crashed near a Birmingham, Ala., airport early Wednesday, killing the pilot and co-pilot, according to reports.

 

$JPM: Two former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) employees, Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout, were charged by U.S. prosecutors in the "London Whale" trades that cost the bank more than $6 billion. Shares of the bank slipped 0.3%.

 

$DE: Shares of Deere & Co. (DE) lost premarket gains to trade down 1.9%. The farm-equipment company blew past analyst estimates for fiscal third-quarter profit and revenue on Wednesday, attributing its performance to a strong farm sector in the Americas. However, it also said it expects equipment sales in the current quarter to fall 5%.

 

Gainers

 

Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) shares rallied 6.2%. The gold miner's stock often shadows the direction of gold prices. Gold futures recovered from Tuesday's losses with gold for December delivery (GCZ3) up 0.8% to $1,331 an ounce.

 

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) shares rose 4.2%, one of the best performers in the S&P 500. The stock got a positive write-up from Seeking Alpha on Tuesday suggesting that the company's second-quarter results point to stronger growth later this year. Nvidia last week said its adjusted profit fell to 23 cents a share from 27 cents a share a year ago.

 

Shares of Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. (LVB) jumped 7.9% after investment firm Paulson & Co. agreed to buy the piano maker for about $503 million, taking it private.

 

Decliners

 

Cree Inc. (CREE) shares sank 22%. The company, which makes LED lights, announced Tuesday a first-quarter profit projection of 36 cents to 41 cents a share that fell short of expectations.

 

Macy's Inc. (M) slid 4.5%, one of the worst laggards in the S&P 500. The retailer on Wednesday cut its full-year comparable sales outlook to 2.9% from a prior forecast of 3.5%. It also cut its profit target to $3.80 to $3.90 a share from a previous range of as much as $3.95 a share.

 

Moody's Corp. (MCO) shares declined 5.1%. The ratings company has about 10 legal cases in the U.S. that it has to resolve, but Moody's does not see them as "material," according to analysts at Raymond James.

 

TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) shares slumped 9.2% after Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer suggested that the online-travel site is having a rough summer. Kaufer said at a conference that he is not "seeing a lot of positive stuff" in the quarter, according to theflyonthewall.com investing website. Competitors Expedia Inc. (EXPE) and Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (OWW) were also pressured although not as much as TripAdvisor.

-Sue Chang; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

 

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-14-13 1613ET

Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Copyright 2014 MarketWatch
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