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Dow, S&P hit record highs on Apple's gains

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks climbed on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 advancing to all-time highs after Apple's distribution deal with China Mobile lifted the technology sector. 

Apple rose 3.8 percent to $570.09, its biggest percentage gain in three months. Apple's gains helped power the S&P technology sector index to a gain of 1.5 percent, making it the best performer of the 10 major S&P sectors. 

The stock's massive market capitalization helped lift both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. U.S.-listed shares of China Mobile rose 1.6 percent to $52.47.       

"It is up nicely on this news, and it's not bad news. But I thought it was something people were kind of already aware of,"said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.  

Volume was light, with about 4.68 billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, well below the 6.49 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.  

This week, volume is expected to be thin, with many market participants out for the Christmas holiday. Equity markets will close early on Tuesday and will be closed all of Wednesday. The light volume could amplify market volatility.       

"I've got traders calling me up saying, 'You got anything going on? I've got nothing.' Everyone is looking for something that's moving. This is just the way it is when it comes to the Christmas holidays," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S.Global Investors Inc in San Antonio, Texas.       

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 73.47 points or 0.45 percent, to end at 16,294.61, a record high. The S&P 500 gained 9.67 points or 0.53 percent, to finish at1,827.99, a record. 

The Nasdaq Composite added 44.163points or 1.08 percent, to close at 4,148.903.

Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 got a lift from Facebook Inc, which jumped 4.8 percent to end at a record $57.77, in the social networking company's first day of trading as an S&P 500 component. Facebook also set an all-time intraday high of$58.32 during Monday's session.      

 Both the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at all-time highs,extending sharp gains from last week, the strongest week for major indexes in months.       

The rally was fueled by strong economic data and the U.S.Federal Reserve's decision to begin trimming its stimulus program next month, which removed a major source of uncertainty for the market. The Fed also said its key interest rate would stay at rock bottom longer than previously promised.       

"Clearly what the Fed did was right down the sweet spot, and it was quite frankly what the market wanted to hear. But now itis in the market, and we have to wait for new events," Massocca said. 

The S&P 500 has soared 28.2 percent this year, largely due to the Fed's stimulus measures, and is on track for its best year since 1997.      

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