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The Nasdaq Now: Apple Officially Biggest Stock Ever

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Facebook also inches up.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL After six straight weeks of US equity gains, investors are taking a pause in mid-Monday trading as the European Central Bank tempered optimism by saying that reports of plans to cap European bond yields are "misleading."

The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) is down 0.07% to 3,074.56 points on trading volume of 668.36 million.

Lifting the Nasdaq up is Western Liberty Bancorp (WLBC), up an impressive 34.04% to $3.82. The company's shares were boosted after it was reported that Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL) will acquire Western Liberty for $55 million.

Another strong performer is Rosetta Genomics (ROSG), which gained 34.04% to $3.82. Shares of Rosetta, a company which develops and commercializes a full range of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics, have exploded in 2012. So far this year, it is up almost 83%.

Apple (AAPL) is also experiencing a strong surge, up 2.45% to $663.97, in hitting another new all-time. Last Friday, the tech giant crossed the $600 billion mark for its market cap, and it has now overtaken Microsoft's (MSFT) peak cap of $618.9 billion in December 1999 to become the biggest stock ever.

It's been a poor month for Facebook (FB), but the social media company edged up 2.89% to $19.60 today, with Capstone Investments having upgraded it from Hold to a Buy rating, setting a price target of $26.

Capstone analyst Rory Maher said that there was potential "upside to the company's core business and potential returns from new businesses the stock price currently does not give the company credit for."

One of the Nasdaq's biggest droppers today is Life Partners Holdings (LPHI), which follows an 18% drop on Friday with a 30.61% fall to $1.36. The life-insurance provider is facing a lawsuit from Texas regulators that alleges that the firm misled investors about life expectancies of the insured.

Ceres Inc. (CERE) is also down 14.32% to $7.72 on mammoth trading volume of 134,124, versus the 30-day average of 10,976. The seed developer's shares have now fallen below the $8.25 support level.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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