BY Associated Press
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
12/12/12 at 2:43 AM
S&P 500 climbs 9.29 points for biggest gain this month
Stocks rose for a fifth straight day Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index had its biggest gain this month, finishing up 9.29 points at 1,427.84.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 78.56 points to 13,248.44, and the Nasdaq composite ended up 35.34 points at 3,022.30.
Delta Air Lines rose 5.1 percent to $10.66 after the company said it will buy almost half of Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic for $360 million as it seeks a bigger share of the lucrative New York-to-London travel market.
AIG gained $1.90 to $35.26 after the U.S. Treasury Department said it has sold the rest of its stake in the insurer. AIG was bailed out by the government after nearly collapsing during the 2008 financial crisis.
The S&P and Nasdaq got a boost from Apple, which makes up 4 percent of the S&P and 11 percent of the Nasdaq. Apple isn't part of the Dow.
Apple advanced $11.57, or 2.2 percent, to $541.39, its biggest advance in more than a week. The tech giant had fallen sharply since hitting a record high of $702.10 on Sept. 19 as investors worried about intense competition in the smartphone market.