24/04/2009 - 06:50

Wall Street losses continue

24/04/2009 - 06:50

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The Australian share market closed higher, despite a fall of more than 1 per cent on Wall Street overnight.

Wall Street losses continue

The Australian share market closed higher, despite a fall of more than 1 per cent on Wall Street overnight.

US stocks turned slightly positive early Thursday afternoon on a mixed-bag of earnings reports, though troublesome readings of jobless claims and home sales weighed on sentiment, it has been reported.

The ABC says Wall Street's six-week winning streak could be over though as the United States braces itself for the worst global recession since World War II.

However, US stocks rose early Thursday in hesitant trade as an upbeat profit report from iPod and iPhone maker Apple offset fears about the economic outlook and the auto sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 70.49 points (0.89 per cent) to 7,957.06 at the closing bell, after drifting in and out of positive territory for much of the session.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 6.09 points (0.37 per cent) to 1,652.21 while the Standard & Poor's 500 broad-market index added 8.36 points (0.99 per cent) to a preliminary close of 851.91.

The market digested Apple's results from late Wednesday as the computer and tech giant reported its best second quarter ever and said chief executive Steve Jobs would return from medical leave as scheduled at the end of June.

Analysts at Charles Schwab & Co said the market was "inundated with a plethora of profit reports, which are causing traders to grapple with determining if the global recession is on the mend."

While Apple surprised to the upside, package delivery giant UPS fell short of expectations, prompting some volatile market action.

Fred Dickson, market strategist at DA Davidson & Co, said Apple's strong results are "an indication that if you have the right product, packaged and marketed the right way, customers will buy them even in the midst of a deep recession."

But Dickson said Apple's upbeat report may not fully overcome fears about the overall economy.

"The stock market rally appears to be anticipating near-term improvement in the economy," he said.

"Our concern is that while signs of a bottom in the recession are beginning to develop, we wouldn't be surprised to see the recovery process take longer to unfold than the patience threshold of today's trigger-finger traders."

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