After Market: Stocks Extend Rally on Big Gains from Apple, Facebook

Stocks extend their year-end rally, led by big gains from Facebook and Apple.

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.

Stocks Rise On Strong Economic Report For US Economy
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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.

What to Watch Tuesday:

  • 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.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.