Apple (AAPL) gained more than 4 percent after finalizing a deal for China Mobile to sell the iPhone in the world's largest consumer market. Picture this: China Mobile has more subscribers than the U.S. has people. After languishing for most of the year, Apple shares are now in the plus column for 2013.
Facebook (FB) jumped 5 percent as it debuted as a member of the prestigious S&P 500 club. All of the mutual funds that track the index were forced to buy -- meaning Facebook made a lot of new friends on Wall Street.
Other internet companies enjoying the day: Twitter (TWTR) and Pandora Media (P), both up more than 5 percent.
Overall, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 73 points to 16,294, the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rose 44 points to 4,148 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 9 points to 1,828. The S&P is now up 400 points this year, its biggest-ever point gain. However, it's not the best percentage gain.
Of course, this is a holiday-shortened week here on Wall Street. Trading ends 3 hours early Tuesday and the market is closed Christmas day -- so trading volume the rest of week will be very light.
More Stocks in the News:
- Shares of Target (TGT) fell 1 percent as the retailer tries to do damage control following the massive hacking attack against its customers credit info.
- Homebuilders PulteGroup (PHM), KB Home (KBH) and Lennar (LEN) rallied on the likelihood that new mortgage fees set to take effect next year will be delayed.
- Disk drive maker Xyratex (XRTX) jumped 27 percent and Dynamic Research (DRCO), a management consulting firm, surged 58 percent. Both companies agreed to be acquired.
- In the drug sector, Ariad (ARIA) rose 8 percent as a two-month suspension of its leukemia drug was lifted.
- United Therapeutics (UTHR) rallied 30 percent. Regulators approved its blood pressure treatment.
- Darden Restaurants (DRI) gained 6½ percent. A second big investor is pushing to company to spin off more of its well-known chains. Darden said last week that it's looking to sell or spin off Red Lobster. Olive Garden could be next.
- The Commerce Department releases durable goods for November at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, and November new home sales at 10 am.
- U.S. stock markets close at 1 p.m.; bond markets suggested to close at 2 p.m.