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Apple Bucks Tech Selloff

Shares of Apple Computer (AAPL) set an all-time high on Friday following a disappointing report from Dell (DELL) and amid rumors about a major new partnership.

According to market chatter, Apple is set to announce a deal with Google (GOOG) calling for Google to offer Apple's iTunes music store through its own site. The rumored deal would pair the nation's leading online music store with its leading search engine.

There's "speculation of an iTunes launch," says Paul Foster, an options strategist at Theflyonthewall.com. "Google is going to offer iTunes somehow on their platform," according to the rumor, he says.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said the company doesn't comment on "rumors and speculation." A Google representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, Apple's shares might well have benefited from Dell's pain. The computer giant missed Wall Street's revenue targets for its just-completed quarter by $300 million and cautioned analysts that they needed to bring down their revenue targets for its current quarter.

Dell's stumble is in contrast to Apple, which has seen its computer sales and share in the PC market surge in recent quarters.

"Some investors seem be rotating out of Dell into Apple," says Foster. "Investors kind of have the attitude that Dell's weakness is Apple's strength."

Shares of Apple closed regular trading up $2.10, or 4.8%, on Friday to $46.10. The company's shares traded up as much as $2.22, or 5%, intraday. Volume totaled nearly 33 million shares, well above its three-month norm of 18.6 million shares.

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