Thursday's Market Minute

  • Apple's (AAPL) market cap topped $1 trillion.
  • Tesla shorts got squeezed as Tesla rose 16% after its second-quarter earnings release Wednesday. 
  • Markets turned mostly higher in afternoon trading as investors shrugged off trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

U.S stocks rebounded to close mostly higher on Thursday as gains by Apple and Tesla offset concern about the latest round of trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The Trump administration said it is considering raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% from 10%. China, the world's second-largest economy, responded by saying that U.S. "blackmail" would not work while vowing to "take countermeasures."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended off 7, or 0.03%, at 25,326, after trading more than 200 points lower early in the session. The S&P 500 rose 0.5%. The Nasdaq reversed its early losses, thanks in part to a good day for Apple Inc. (AAPL) , to end up 1.2%. 

Apple shares ended up $6.03, or 3%, at $207.53, making it the first company with a market cap above $1 trillion. 

The mining sector was a victim of the bearish trade market climate. Miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX)  fell 1.4%, while  Rio Tinto plc (RIO)  declined 3.4%, ArcelorMittal (MT)  dropped 2.5%, BHP Billiton Limited (BHP)  was down 2.5%.

Tesla Inc. (TSLA)  rose 16% to $347.52 following a mixed second-quarter earnings report. The electric vehicle maker reported slightly more revenue than expected, at $4 billion versus an analyst consensus of $3.9 billion, but higher losses than expected at an adjusted loss of $3.06 per share versus a consensus of $2.92.

However, CEO Elon Musk's decorum during the earnings call Wednesday afternoon is what people were talking about. 

Shares of meal-kit company Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (APRN) were  slammed, falling 25%, following its second-quarter earnings release. The company reported a loss of $32.8 million, or $0.17 per share in the period. While that loss was in line with analyst expectations for the period, revenue of $179.6 million for the quarter fell short of the $188.2 million Wall Street forecast. 

Shares of Cigna Corp. (CIG)  rose 3% after the company reported second-quarter earnings of $3.89 a share on revenue of $11.5 billion, which was up 11% year over year. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $3.33 a  share on revenue of $11.16 billion. 

Cigna is also facing pressure after the Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Carl Icahn, who recently built a stake in the insurer, will be leading the opposition against the company's proposed $52 billion acquisition of Express Scripts (ESRX) . 

Asian markets fell, led by Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which dropped 2.2%. The Shanghai Composite in China fell by 2% and Japan's Nikkei dropped 1.03%.

European markets also slipped, with the FTSE 100 declining by 1.11%, the DAX off by 1.55%, and the CAC 40 dropping 0.73%.

Global oil prices rose on reports that Iran is preparing military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, a key delivery alley for regional crude that Tehran has threatened to block in retaliation for U.S. economic sanctions.

Brent crude contracts, the global benchmark, for October delivery rose 30 cents to $72.69 in early European trading while WTI contracts for September rose 50 cents to $68.15 per barrel.

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