Stocks were in a short-term holding pattern Tuesday ahead of some big economic news due out later this week, but Apple gave a big boost to shares of a new supplier.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 21 points to 15,618 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 3 points to 3,940, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 5 points to 1,763. GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) soared after signing a major supply agreement with Apple (AAPL). GT rallied 20 percent. It's getting a $578 million advance to provide Apple with sapphire, the material used to protect certain features in the new iPhone 5S, and other products. There's also speculation that it could be used in a new smartwatch product.
GT competitor Rubicon Technologies (RBCN) rode its coattails. It jumped 10 percent. But current Apple supplier Corning (GLW) could lose some business. Its shares fell 4 percent.
Pandora Media (P) is singing sweet music. It reports a greater share of the music streaming business. Analysts say that indicates Pandora is meeting the challenge of Apple's new iTunes Radio service. Pandora shares rose 8 percent.
As for Apple itself, shares were little changed despite a research firm's report that the company's profit margin on the iPad Air has improved significantly. But investors are still waiting to hear directly from Apple about sales of the tablet during its launch weekend.
Shares of fashion designer Michael Kors (KORS) rallied more than 5 percent after posting a 40 percent jump in quarterly sales and raising its outlook for the full year. Kors stock has far-outpaced its competitors in the luxury goods market. It's nearly quadrupled in price since debuting just over two years ago.
Among the Notable Losers:
• Leapfrog (LF) got squashed, losing 8 percent. The maker of tablet computers for kids actually beat earnings estimates, but it warned that results for the full year will be disappointing.
• Software maker BroadSoft (BSFT) also issued an outlook that fell short of expectations. Its stock tumbled 24 percent.
• And it's a similar story for Tenet Healthcare (THC). The hospital operator lost about 9 percent after sharply lowering its outlook for the full year.
What to Watch Wednesday:
- The Conference Board releases leading indicators for September at 10 a.m.
- CBS (CBS)
- Duke Energy (DUK)
- Molson Coors (TAP)
- Qualcomm (QCOM)
- Ralph Lauren (RL)
- Time Warner (TWX)
- Whole Foods (WFM)