The Associated Press
NEW YORK — 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 55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,278 in the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,825. The Nasdaq composite rose 24 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,128.
CHINA-APPLE DEAL: Apple rose $17.37, or 3 percent, to $566.30 after the company reached a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest cell phone provider, to start selling the iPhone in the world's most populous country. 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.
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.