NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks moved higher in early Monday trading in what is traditionally a slow week as investors close the books on 2013. Apple helped lift technology stocks after the company reached a deal to sell the iPhone to China’s largest wireless carrier.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,293 as of 11:12 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,827. The Nasdaq composite rose 32 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,137.
CHINA-APPLE DEAL: Apple rose $15.81, or 3 percent, to $564.80 after the company reached a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest cell phone provider, to sell the iPhone in the world’s most populous country. The iPhone is already sold through two smaller carriers there. Apple helped push the Nasdaq higher than the Dow and the S&P 500.
SHOPPING MOOD: The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in November, the healthiest showing since June. Incomes rose 0.2 percent. Those are closely watched figures, especially leading up to the holiday season.
NO SALE FOR MEN’S WEARHOUSE: Retailer Jos. A. Bank rejected a $1.5 billion buyout offer from Men’s Wearhouse on Monday. The rivals have made offers to buy each other in recent months, only to be rejected by the other party. Jos. A. Bank fell 51 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $56.52 and Men’s Wearhouse fell 89 cents, or 2 percent, to $51.14.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Darden, which runs Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants, rose 4 percent after activist investor Starboard Value took a stake in the company. It’s expected to push for a breakup. Target fell 1 percent after The Wall Street Journal reported that transactions slipped 3 percent to 4 percent in last weekend before Christmas. Target is dealing with a massive breach of security in credit and debit card data.
CHRISTMAS WEEK: Both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market will be closed Wednesday for Christmas. Both exchanges will also close at 1 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday for Christmas Eve.