Summary: Strength in companies related to mobile payments surged one day after Apple unveils Apple Pay; Twitter gains on ad sales optimism; Oil slumps to 2014 low. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street looks for stable ground after suffering the worst drop in a month the day before. Stocks ending mostly higher thanks to strength in technology names. Some of the gains were due to the afterglow from Apple Pay, the tech giant's mobile payments system, which launches next month. Companies that deal in wireless and cash-less payments like Net Element, On Track Innovations and USA Technologies all had banner days. Traditional credit card companies like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express were all higher, since Apple Pay will be linked to credit and debit cards. But GT Advanced Technologies slumped. Its sapphire glass will only be used in the Apple Watch and not the iPhone 6 as speculated. Now's the time to buy Twitter. That's the view of UBS who believes Twitter will see more online ad dollars flow its way thanks to several new initiatives. Shares of the social network pretty much touched a six-month high during the session. Sticking with technology: Microsoft is close to a deal to buy the maker of the Minecraft video game, according to media reports. The Wall Street Journal says the price tag could be upwards of $2 billion. Microsoft declined our request for comment. In other deal news: Dollar General is going hostile - taking an offer to buy Family Dollar straight to shareholders. Family Dollar has said no twice, in favor of a lesser offer from Dollar Tree. Crude oil falling to its lowest price of the year - to the $91 range - amid swelling supplies and falling projected demand by OPEC. A resurgent dollar doesn't help since it makes oil more costly to foreign buyers. As for the dollar, a six-year high against the yen is the latest sign of strength, so what's a global investor to do? Gabi Santos is a global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. SOUNDBITE: GABI SANTOS, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, J.P. MORGAN FUNDS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "For investors looking to invest abroad, I think that the dollar's strength is really something to keep in mind, especially as we go into the Fed normalizing policy. A stronger dollar as we have seen - already starting to contribute to lower emerging markets currencies in general and in the past that has not been a good sign for investing in emerging markets." In Europe: The British pound recovered a little. As for equities, stocks were basically flat.