Deal-Making Pushes Stocks Higher


Investors were in a good mood today on a number of positive developments in the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are both up 0.49% near the end of trading. Of course, hope for a fiscal-cliff solution was the overarching sentiment, but there were more detailed items that helped push stocks higher.

The Fed began its rate-setting meeting today and will announce monetary policy decisions tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. EST. Investors are hoping the Fed will ease some of the fiscal-cliff tension, so there's a lot of attention on Ben Bernanke this week. Today, the Treasury sold $32 billion of three-year notes with a record-low 0.327% yield, so investors are expecting the Fed to keep rates low.

Apple jumped 3.1% after Chinese partner Unicom announced it had sold 300,000 preordered iPhones that will go on sale Friday. The iPhone is still a hot consumer item, and this stock has been treated as if Apple has lost its touch recently, but at least today is a good day.

Shares of AIG jumped 5.1% today after the Treasury said it had sold its remaining shares in the company. In the end, the treasury made a $22.7 billion profit on the $182 billion bailout of AIG. This doesn't really change AIG's business, but it will grant management more flexibility. It's unknown at this point whether that's a good thing or not.

Finally, Delta Air Lines jumped 6.8% after announcing that it bought a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways. Richard Branson will retain control of the company. At the very least, this gives Delta a little bit of a "cool" factor to be associated with Branson.

Is Apple a buy today?
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