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Stocks Climb as Apple Shares Rebound

Tickers in this article: SFD EPHC ^DJI BHP BRCM ^GSPC WLT ^IXIC ZNGA AAPL LULU

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages rose Thursday as shares of technology behemoth Apple (AAPL) rebounded and investors watched the U.S. "fiscal cliff" debates with a bit more optimism.

The technology sector was posting the biggest gains in the broad market as Apple shares rebounded by 1.4%. CEO Tim Cook made various media appearances, telling Bloomberg and NBC that an existing Mac computer will be manufactured in the U.S next year and that the company will spend $100 million in U.S. production in 2013.

The stock tumbled 6.4% to $538.79 on Wednesday, its biggest single-day loss in four years on reports Wednesday of a margin hike at one clearing firm and concerns over component supplies falling next year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 40 points, or 0.3%, at 13,074. The blue-chip index began the session up 6.8% in 2012.

Breadth was positive, with winners outnumbering losers 20 to eight. The top blue-chip advancers were Intel (INTC) , Cisco (CSCO) , Chevron (CVX) and McDonald's (MCD) .

Sinking to the bottom were AT&T (T) , American Express (AXP) and Travelers (TRV) .

The S&P 500 added 5 points, or 0.33%, to 1,414. The Nasdaq increased 16 points, or 0.52%, at 2,989. The tech-heavy index broke a four-day losing streak.

Advancers edged decliners 1.1-to-1 on the Big Board, but losers beat winners incrementally on the Nasdaq. Volumes totaled 3.17 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.70 billion shares on the Nasdaq.

Aside from technology, the consumer-cyclical, services and basic materials sectors were also in the green.

Sector decliners in the broad market included capital goods, financials and energy.

On Wednesday afternoon, Republicans made a move to support a bipartisan call to break the gridlock over the "fiscal cliff" talks, especially regarding tax hikes for the richest Americans. As many as 40 Republicans were reportedly pressing for the exploration of "all options."

Bricklin Dwyer, an economist at BNP Paribas, and Suvrat Prakash, an interest rate strategist at the firm, said they believe a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff will be made before year-end and that there's a high likelihood the U.S. debt ceiling will be raised.

"The administration has said that the debt ceiling must be raised as part of a fiscal cliff deal," Dwyer and Prakash said. "The Obama administration is pushing for a permanent increase of the debt ceiling, which they are not likely to get. We expect another one-year extension (or roughly $1 trillion) with another increase tied to the next round of fiscal negotiations."

The European markets finished Thursday higher, with the FTSE 100 in London closing up 0.16% and the DAX in Germany finishing up 1.07%.

The European Central Bank on Thursday kept its benchmark rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75%.