How the Stock Market Did Today

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How the stock market did today, Dec. 23: U.S. stocks today close on yet another positive note, hitting record highs after positive consumer data released earlier today.  

Consumer spending rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in November, which is the fastest pace of growth since June and on par with Street expectations.

The S&P 500 closed up about 1% at 1,828 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.45% at 16,294 points, and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 1.08% at 4,148 points.

It was the fourth consecutive day of gains fueled by optimism over global and domestic economic growth.

In major stock news today, tech giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL) surged about 4%, marking a day high of $570.66, closing in on its 52-week high of $575.14. Apple rose today on word that it finally secured a deal with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), which will sell its iPhones.

Per the agreement, China Mobile will make iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c available to its roughly 760 million customers.

In other major gainers today, Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: PCRX) was up another roughly 10% today on no apparent company-related news but above-average trading volume. And AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) hit multi-year highs today after it said it will increase base prices for stainless steel prices, a price increase that adds to the price increases the company announced last month.

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Today’s Decliners:  Steiner, Target

Among today’s stock losers, Steiner Leisure Ltd. (Nasdaq: STNR) shares closed down about 15% down today after the company said it will not renew a contract with Celebrity Cruises that expires at the end of the year.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) was also trading down today, with shares dropping about 1%. The company reportedly suffered a decline in customer traffic over the weekend after a massive data breach, The Wall Street Journal reported. The number of transactions fell from between 3% and 4% last weekend compared to the weekend before Christmas last year.

In technology market news today, shares of Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) closed down about 3% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch dropped its rating on the company to Underperform from Neutral today. The price target was lowered to $19.50 from $20.50, with the analyst citing concerns over weaker average selling prices and peer competition.

Finally, in healthcare stocks decliners, shares are of TESARO Inc. (Nasdaq: TSRO) held down about 25% throughout today's session after the company reported unimpressive results for its phase 3 trials of rolapitant, a treatment for nausea and vomiting.

In other healthcare stocks news today, Pozen Inc. (Nasdaq: POZN) closed down about 3% today after it said it had discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding its new drug application for some of its new tablets.

Pozen will conduct a phase 1 study that will cost about $750,000. The study will enroll up to 30 subjects, with data expected in March 2014.

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