Dow, S&P 500 hit highest levels of 2012

But profit-taking has put the brakes on the rally. Apple nearly hits $675 but falls back. Best Buy shares sag after earnings miss estimates. Gold and oil move up as the dollar falls. Dell results are due after the close.

By Charley Blaine 16 minutes ago

Stocks surged in early trading with the major averages hitting their highest levels of the year and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX +0.15%) hitting a 4-year high.

But the rally has fallen apart, in part because technology shares began to pull back. Apple (AAPL -1.17%) hit a new intraday high of $674.88 right after the open but dropped back to $658.18, down $6.97 after a downgrade.

The rally was set off in part by optimism for more central bank easing, especially in Europe. But Dennis Lockhart, the president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, took some of the glow off the day, warning that central bank efforts may not produce the hoped-for results.

Best Buy (BBY -0.80%) shares were off sharply after earnings missed Street estimates and concern grew that new CEO Hubert Joly lacked experience with the current retailing environment. Barnes & Noble (BKS -0.65%) was also lower because of weakness in its college-textbook business. But apparel retail Urban Outfitters (URBN +18.06%) were up sharply after fiscal-second quarter results, issued late Monday, were surprisingly strong.

At 12:20 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU +0.01%) were flat at 13,271. But the index had been up as many as 59 points -- and well above its May 1 close of 13,279 -- right after the open. The S&P 500 was up 2 points to 1,420, just ahead of its 2012 closing high of 1,419. It had been up as many as 9 points.

The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX +0.09%) was up 1 point to 3,077, about 26 points below its high for the year, 3,123, set on March 26.

The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX -0.15%) was off 5 points to 2,779. Apple, which represents about 17% of the market capitalization of the stocks in the index, was the catalyst for the pullback.

Commodity prices moved higher in large because the dollar was lower against the euro.

Crude oil
(-CL) climbed $1.24 to to $97.19 a barrel. Gold (-GC) rose $17.10 to $1,640.10 an ounce.

Interest rates were higher, with the 10-year Treasury yield falling to 1.849% from 1.814% on Monday.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX +4.13%) rose $1.40 to $36.76 as metals prices moved higehr.

Best Buy shares were off 41 cents to $17.75 after reporting results that trailed estimates and suspending its earnings forecast as sales of computers and televisions dropped. There was some good news. The shares hit a 52-week low of $16.25 just after the open but then rebounded.

Urban Outfitters shares were up $5.42 to $36.70, tops among stocks in the S&P 500.
Dow S&P 500 hit highest levels of 2012- MSN Money