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The Nasdaq Now: Apple Jump Lifts Nasdaq by More Than 1%

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Texas Instruments and Urban Outfitters were also up on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stocks jumped in mid-Tuesday trading, as investors awaited the start of the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting, where Ben Bernanke is expected to announced a new round of Treasury securities purchases tomorrow to replace the "Operation Twist" stimulus program, which expires at the end of the year.

Providing a boost to investor confidence on the day was news that the White House and House Speaker John Boehner are making steady progress in budget negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff situations. Also, a report from Germany revealed that investor sentiment in the country for December improved unexpectedly .

The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was up 1.30% to 3,025.78 points on tepid trading volume of 672.66 million as of 12:20 p.m. EST.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) provided a huge boost to the Nasdaq, leaping 2.91% to $545.24 after having traded lower for seven of the past 10 sessions and dropping over 7% in the last month. China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) reported earlier that it has logged preorders for over 300,000 units of Apple's flagship iPhone 5 ahead of its Friday debut in China. Also, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) raised its estimates for fourth-quarter iPhone 5 activations at AT&T (NYSE:T) to 8 million units from 7 million.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) also continued its climb, improving 0.57% to $28.00 after Capstone Research raised its price target on the stock to $35 from $26. With the Christmas holidays in mind, the social network has launched Facebook Gifts in the US. The service has over 100 partners, including Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and 1-800-Flowers (NASDAQ:FLWS).

After soaring 71.33% yesterday, Acura Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACUR) continued its surge today, jumping 62.45% to $3.98. Yesterday, Acura launched a new version of its decongestant pseudoephedrine that is tougher to turn into methamphetamine. With regulators putting increasing pressure on drug companies to make abuse-resistant varieties of their drugs, Acura's new drug, called Nexafed, comes just at the right time. Unlike the company's first resistant-abuse drug, Oxecta, Nexafed is wholly owned by Acura, thus proving even more upside potential.

Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) advanced 3.67% to $30.92 after it narrowed its earnings and sales targets for the fourth quarter. Analysts seemed to like the revision, with Evercore's Patrick Wang saying that the update "was slightly better than expected. The core business appears to have stabilized as demand hasn't materially worsened, or improved, for that matter."

Retailer Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) also rose 4.97% to $38.84 after reporting expectations-beating fourth-quarter same-store sales.

Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN) fell 22% last week and continued to slide, declining 4.18% to $8.95 on the day. Last week, the company announced it would be taking on $100 million in debt financing on a bid to launch its own sales force to market its triglyceride-lowering drug, Vascepa. Investors had expected the company to go the more conventional route of partnering with a bigger company like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Merck (NYSE:MRK), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), or Abbott (NYSE:ABT) because of how expensive it usually is to take a drug to market.

Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) (-2.02% to $38.65) and Yandex N.V. (NASDAQ:YNDX) (-6.09% to $21.60) were also down on the day.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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