US STOCKS-Wall St rallies to record highs, buoyed by Apple deal

Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:07pm EST
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* Dow, S&P 500 at all-time highs; last week was best in months

* Apple climbs after iPhone deal with China Mobile

* Consumer sentiment rises in December, but below forecasts

* Dow up 0.5 pct, S&P 500 up 0.6 pct, Nasdaq up 0.9 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 advancing to all-time highs as Apple Inc surged on a distribution deal with China Mobile and lifted the technology sector.

Volume is expected to be thin this week, 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.

Tech titan Apple said on Sunday it had signed a long-awaited agreement with China Mobile Ltd to sell iPhones through the world's biggest network of mobile phone users, a deal that could add billions of dollars to its revenue.

The deal "clearly invites a new demographic and an entire new generation of users that are going to be introduced to these Apple products," said Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital in New York. "Just off the deal alone with China Mobile, that can equate to a 10 percent upside on Apple's stock."   Continued...