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Apple reveals iPad; stocks gain

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Published on: Thursday, January 28, 2010

Overnight, US stocks slipped in early trading as the Federal Reserve kept interest rate on hold, but finished the session higher with the Nasdaq getting a boost after Apple unveiled its new product.

The Dow added 41.87 points or 0.41 per cent to 10,236.16.
The Nasdaq gained 17.68 points or 0.8 per cent to 2,221.41.
The S&P 500 rose 5.33 points or 0.49 per cent to 1,097.50.

Following the two day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve announced it will keep interest rates in the range of 0 to 0.25 per cent, and economic conditions are “likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period”.

Home sales dropped 7.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 342,000 in December from a revised 370,000 in November.

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced the company’s new tablet computer, the iPad, overnight. Shares gained US$2.04 or 0.99 per cent to US$207.98.

In company earnings, Caterpillar, which is considered to be a bellwether company, announced net profit of US$232 million or US$0.36 per share in its fourth quarter, down 65 per cent from US$661 million or US$1.08 per share in the same quarter last year. The company said it expects profit of US$2.50 per share in the 2010 financial year. Shares dropped US$2.44 or 4.37 per cent to US$53.41.

Boeing announced revenue roes 42 per cent to US$17.9 billion and net profit of US$1.3 billion or US$1.75 per share, compared with a loss of US$86 million or 0.12 per share in the same quarter last year. The company said it expected earnings per share of US$3.70 to US$4.00 in 2010. Shares gained US$4.22 or 7.31 per cent to US$61.93.

In Australia yesterday, the ASX/200 lost 73.3 points or 1.55 per cent to 4,644.6. The All Ords dropped 73.1 points or 1.54 per cent to 4,670.

Oil this morning was at US$73.67 per barrel and gold was at US$1,088.08 per ounce. The Australia dollar was buying 89.5 US cents, 55.34 pence Sterling, 63.82 Euro cents and 80.51 Japanese yen.   

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