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Stocks - Apple Helps S&P Rally as a Quarter of Struggles Ends

Investing.com - Stocks finished the third quarter on a high note, led by strength in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and other tech stocks.

The S&P 500 finished the day up 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.75% and the Nasdaq 100 climbed 0.88%. The Dow Jones industrials added 0.36%.

The quarter showed the smallest gains for stocks in the first three quarters of the year, with the gains fading toward Monday's close.

The S&P 500 and Dow were up 1.2% for the quarter, with the Nasdaq up down 0.09%.

The market was buffeted repeatedly by fears of an all-out trade war between the United States and China, malaise in Europe and the threat of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Monday's rally was set off by assurances from the Trump Administration that it was not planning to disrupt capital flows between the U.S. and China. On Friday, a report the U.S. might try to delist Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges blew up a rally.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 2.44%, and saw its market capitalization top $1 trillion for the first time since Sept. 18, behind only Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which also moved higher on Monday.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the biggest driver for gains in all the indexes. The gain resulted when JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) analyst Samik Chatterjee boosted his price target on the stock to $265 from $243, citing better-than-expected sales of the new iPhone 11.

The consensus target price among analysts tracked by Investing.com is $226.48.

Also boosting the Dow overall was Merck (NYSE:MRK), up 1.6% on promising data from its Lynparza cancer drug. The company is developing the drug with AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN).

The market gains came as crude oil fell, along with gold. Interest rates were mostly flat, with the 10-Year Treasury yield at 1.675%, up from Friday's 1.674%.

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