Stocks End Higher As Apple Tops 600 For First Time

By SCOTT STODDARD, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Stocks closed higher Monday as Apple (AAPL) ended above 600 for the first time after announcing it would pay a dividend. Meanwhile, parcel delivery service UPS (UPS) said it would pay $6.77 billion to buy TNT Express.

The Nasdaq rose 0.8%, the S&P 500 0.4% and the Dow Jones industrial average 0.1%, backing off earlier gains. Volume dropped sharply from Friday’s witching session.

Fashion retailer Michael Kors (KORS) lost 2%. After the close, shares seesawed after the company gave a mixed fourth-quarter outlook. The stock has run up sharply since its December IPO and still shows no sign of offering a proper entry point.

Apple announced its first dividend since 1995 and plans for a three-year, $10 billion share buyback. The quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share is scheduled to be paid July 1. Annualized, the yield would be 1.8%. Shares rose more than 2% in heavy volume, closing at a record-high 601.10. The stock is extended far above a 427.85 buy point and continued to climb in after-hours trading following the company’s announcement that it has sold 3 million units of its next-generation iPad since the product’s launch on Friday.

UPS climbed 3%, also in strong trade. Analysts said the parcel deliverer’s purchase of TNT Express, a leading Dutch parcel package service, would make UPS — already the world’s largest package delivery company — the leading delivery service in Europe. UPS said it would pay for the deal with $3 billion in cash and the remainder in new debt.

IBD Leaderboard stock Sourcefire (FIRE), a maker of Internet security software, retreated from a record high to close up 2%. Sourcefire is 5% past its 46.39 buy point from a short-stroke pattern, putting it at the end of its buying range.

Among IBD 50 stocks, electronic casino game maker Shuffle Master (SHFL) climbed 1%. It’s extended after the third test of its 50-day moving average. Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) jumped 3% and is also extended from a bounce off its 50-day line.

Clothing accessories retailer Fossil (FOSL) climbed 4%. The stock has encountered resistance near 120 and is extended past a 110.84 early buy point.

Online travel broker Priceline (PCLN) rose 3% to a fresh record high as it marked its second straight high-volume gain. The stock is 27% past a 549.10 buy point.

On the downside, TransDigm Group (TDG) fell 2% and is near a test of its 10-week line. The maker of aerospace components briefly rose above a 119.51 buy point in a three-weeks-tight pattern in late February, but failed to hold the breakout.

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