Apple helps stocks to 2nd consecutive gain

Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of

Trader Peter Tuchman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday. The U.S. stock market wobbled between small gains and losses in early trading Thursday. (Dec. 6, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Apple and other technology companies led the stock market up for the second day in a row Thursday.

The gains came a day after Apple took its worst fall in four years. In separate interviews, CEO Tim Cook said Apple will produce one of its Mac computers in the United States next year and will spend $100 million in 2013 to shift production of the line from China. The tech giant's stock gained $8.45 to $547.24

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.55 points to close at 13,074.04.

Investors' biggest concern remains the "fiscal cliff" budget negotiations. "Everybody is paying close attention to the soap opera in Washington," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist at LPL Financial.

Most investors believe President Barack Obama and Congress will strike a budget deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before the year is out. Until they reach an agreement, however, the stock market will likely be hostage to news out of Washington.

More companies announced plans to reward investors with dividends this month in case taxes rise next year.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.33 percent to 1,413.94, while the Nasdaq composite index climbed 0.52 percent to 2,989.27.

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