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US: Tesla gains, US$1t Apple lift Nasdaq


[NEW YORK] The Nasdaq finished decisively higher on Thursday as Tesla shares enjoyed huge gains following earnings and Apple became the first private company to hit US$1 trillion in market value.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index led the major indices, finishing up 1.2 per cent to 7,802.69.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 25,326.16, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent to 2,827.22.

Apple rallied 2.9 per cent to finish above US$1 trillion in market capitalisation, the latest landmark for the iPhone maker after it posted another round of strong earnings earlier in the week.

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The surge in Apple shares revealed anew how technology remained the "sector that propels the market," despite headwinds facing some prominent companies, said Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital Markets.

Tesla Motors, another prominent technology company, rocketed 16.2 per cent higher after it reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss but said it would be profitable the rest of 2018.

But the Dow dipped as investors were focused on another flare-up in US-China trade tensions after President Donald Trump asked the US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs on US$200 billion of targeted Chinese imports to 25 per cent from the originally proposed 10 per cent.

Wynn Resorts slumped 6.5 per cent after reporting a 14.9 per cent decline in revenues from its Macau resort to US$543.3 million.

United States Steel Corp plummeted 10.3 per cent after the company's forecasts fell below some analyst expectations in light of higher steel prices.

Investors are looking ahead to Friday's US employment report, which is projected to show a gain of 190,000 jobs in July and unemployment dipping to 3.9 per cent.