US stocks pause for breath as Apple rises and Vix ‘fear gauge’ falls

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US stocks closed flat on Monday, after Apple shares surged to an all-time high and the Vix index closed at its lowest point since 1993.

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite inched higher at the start of trading to set new all-time highs, the gauges quickly trimmed those gains to close flat as losses in materials shares offset gains in the energy and technology sectors.

The S&P 500 ended the day at 2,399.4, and the Nasdaq closed at a fresh all-time high of 6,102.66. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was largely unchanged from its Friday close at 21,012.28.

The lacklustre moves come amid a backdrop of falling market volatility, with the Vix index – which measures the expected short-term turbulence of the S&P 500 and doubles as a fear index – closing at its lowest closing level in over two decades.

The Treasury market saw a bit more action, however. Yield on the 10-year note was 3.1 basis points higher at 2.38 per cent after Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester cautioned against waiting too long to raise interest rates, fueling expectations that policymakers will move to raise interest rates when they meet next month.

The comments also boosted the dollar, with the DXY index up 0.4 per cent.

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