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The Nasdaq Now: Report on New iPhone Sends Apple Shares Up

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Facebook and Zipcar were also up on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stocks soared on the first trading day of 2013 after Washington lawmakers managed to reach a deal at the eleventh hour to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.

"We are happy that we are halfway home to fixing the fiscal cliff; we figured out the revenue side and delayed the spending side," commented Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, according to MarketWatch.

The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was up 2.14% to 3,084.05 points on robust trading volume of 922.50 million as of 12:04 p.m. EST.

Tech stocks joined the fiscal cliff solution-induced rally. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.87% to $542.15 even though Raymond James lowered its price target on the stock to $690 from $700. It was reported earlier that the Cupertino, California-based company has launched hardware testing for the iPhone 6. Apple has also begin the testing of its iOS 7 operating system, according to Reuters.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) also jumped a sharp 4.92% to $27.93. Earlier, Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge initiated coverage on the stock with Neutral, saying that Facebook would have some 1.7 billion users by 2018.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (INDEXNASDAQ:SOX) was up 3.12% and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (INDEXNYSEGIS:MSH) advanced 2.16

Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP) soared 48.42% to $12.23 after news that it would be acquired by Avis (NASDAQ:AVIS) (+4.74%) for some $500 million, or $12.25 a share, in cash. That represents a 49% premium to Zipcar's Dec 31 closing price.

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) also advanced 3.98% to $3.01.

Shares of food companies unsurprisingly rose too, with investors believing that with tax cuts for the middle class made permanent by the fiscal cliff agreement, US consumers will be more willing to increase their food spending.

Modelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) (+4.43%), General Mills (NYSE:GIS) (+1.41), and Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) (+1.86%) were among the food stocks that jumped today.

Stocks that were in the red on the day included Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) (-7.25%), which continued to struggle a week after a federal jury ordered the company to pay close to $1.2 billion in patent-infringement damages to Carnegie Mellon University.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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