Apple's stock rose 3.2% to close at $589.53, its best finish since Nov. 1. Year-to-date, the shares are up 45% but they are still a good ways off their 52-week high of $705.07, which dates back to Sept. 21.
A bigger factor for the broad market though will be the news of an agreement between the International Monetary Fund and eurozone officials on a plan to cut Greece's long-term debt target. The deal brings Greece a crucial step closer to getting its next round of bailout funds.
Meantime, Tuesday's U.S. economic calendar is pretty busy, including durable orders for October at 8:30 a.m. ET; the S&P Case-Shiller home price index for September at 9 a.m. ET; the consumer confidence reading for November at 10 a.m. ET; and the Federal Housing Finance Agency housing price index for September at 10 a.m. ET.
Among the few notable headlines late Monday was an agreement for Equity Residential (EQR) and AvalonBay Communities (AVB) to jointly purchase the assets of Archstone Enterprise LP, mainly a portfolio of apartment properties, from Lehman Brothers Holdings.The companies put the value of the transaction at $16 billion, which includes the assumption of $9.5 billion in debt. Equity Residential will own 60% of Archstone, while AvalonBay will own 40%. And finally, Dollar General (DG) shares were rising in late trades following news the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount retailer has been selected to join the S&P 500, replacing Cooper Industries (CBE), which is being acquired by Eaton Corp. (ETN). The change is expected to go into effect this Friday. Dollar General shares were last quoted at $50.60, up 2.6%, on volume of more than 475,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Also getting a lift in the extended session was Las Vegas Sands (LVS), whose board declared a special dividend of $2.65 per share after the closing bell. The dividend is payable on Dec. 18 to shareholders of record on Dec. 10. Shares were jumping 5% to $46.21 after the close. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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