Stock markets got off to a bullish start as euphoria from last week spilled over while investors also cheered on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) dividend announcement. After months of rumors and speculation, the Apple dividend is finally here. The tech giant announced on Monday morning it would start paying a quarterly distribution, yielding roughly 1.8% as of today’s price at $600 a share. Domestic equity indexes were quite muted in early morning trading, although bullish pressures built up throughout the day, bolstering benchmarks broadly higher into green territory.
Gains in shares of Apple added fuel to the tech sector rally on the home front. The Nasdaq led the way higher on Wall Street, gaining 0.76% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind, gaining 0.05%. Investors reacted positively to the latest home builders index release despite the slightly worse-than-expected results. The figure came in unchanged at 28, versus analyst expectations of 29. Gold inched higher to start off the week and futures prices for the precious yellow metal settled near $1,665 an ounce.
The Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEARCA:AMJ) was one of the strongest performers, gaining 1.06% on the day. This ETN charged upwards right as the opening bell rang, hitting an intraday high at $40.20 a share. AMJ posted respectable gains on Monday alongside crude oil prices which also inched higher. Futures prices for the fossil fuel settled near $108.50 a barrel as the trading session drew to a close.
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The Barclays iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (BATS:VXX) was one of the worst performers, shedding 6.08% on the day. Uncertainty seemingly evaporated from the marketplace as investors expressed confidence in the domestic recovery as evidenced by the ongoing bullish price action across equities. Selling pressures in VXX accelerated early in the day, and the ETN was able to settle near $20.25 a share as the trading session drew to a close.
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