Article submitted by Andrew Gambina

U.S. stocks ended a rocky session decidedly higher on the back of a record rally by Apple that took the iPhone maker to a market cap above $1 trillion, a run-up that helped Wall Street set aside nettlesome trade issues between the U.S. and China. The S&P 500 rose 13.86 points to 2,827.22, a gain of 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 95.40 points, or 1.2%, to 7,802.69, on the back of Apple’s advance. The Dow however, struggled to hold gains, and closed off 7.66 points, or less than 0.1%, to 25,326.16.

European markets meanwhile closed lower as trade tensions between the U.S. and China appeared to be experiencing fresh escalation, with Germany’s main benchmark dragged lower by concerns about the impact of tariff action. The Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 0.8% to reach 386.68 and Germany’s DAX 30 slid 1.6% to end at 12,536.54 on disappointing financial updates from key names such as Siemens AG and BMW AG. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index lost 1.2% to 7,561 after the Bank of England, as expected, raised its bank rate by 25 basis points.

Tesla’s Musk surprises investors

Shares of Tesla Inc jumped more than 12 percent on, after the company convinced investors that it was able to yield positive cash flow and turn a profit, and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk apologized for past incendiary remarks. Musk in a conference call on Wednesday, addressing the company’s largest quarterly loss to date, said the electric car maker would not need to raise more cash and that capital expenses would be slightly below $2.5 billion in 2018, lower than most analysts’ estimates.

The CEO reiterated a target of producing 6,000 Model 3 sedans per week by late August. After Tesla produced 5,000 per week in July following several delays in reaching that target, analysts were concerned whether it could maintain the production rate. Tesla ended the second quarter with $2.78 billion in cash after spending $610 million in capital expenses. Shares of the company were up 12.2 percent to $337.68.

Toyota reports jump in profits

Japanese car-maker giant Toyota has reported a 7.2% increase in quarterly net profits which has beat business analysts’ expectations. Strong sales in Asia along with cost reductions have helped improve Toyota’s financial performance so much so that vehicles sold increased by approximately 21,000 when compared to the previous quarter. Demand in China for Toyota vehicles was strong with a 13% increase in vehicles produced compared to the previous year, which outpaced a 7% rise for the automotive industry.

Toyota, though, have expressed concerns about Trumps proposal to impose US tariffs on imported cars, which could reach a high of 25% and could hurt the company in its biggest market, the US. In fact, Toyota have reduced its sales estimates in North America for the fiscal year. Business analysts are expecting share prices to increase following the publication of a positive financial result for the quarter at the same time as most of its’ competitors fell short of its performance expectations. The uncertain business climate in the US however casts doubt on the future prospects of the company.