NEW YORK — Forget Facebook. This is still Apple’s stock market.
Apple — the world’s most valuable company, the innovator that revolutionized the cellphone — climbed nearly 6 percent on Monday, helping propel major U.S. stock indexes to gains after a solid week of losses.
The Standard & Poor’s 500, where Apple accounts for 4 percent of the index, enjoyed its best day in nearly five weeks. The Nasdaq composite index, where Apple accounts for an even heftier 12 percent, notched its biggest gain of the year.
Monday’s gain of $30.90 to $561.28 — its second-biggest climb of the year so far — came after several analysts said they expect the iPhone business to continue to do well.
Apple is no stranger to fickle investors. Its stock soared 57 percent from the end of last year through April 9, climbing to more than $636 from $405 as iPhone sales seemed unstoppable. Then it fell for most of April and May, declining to about $530 on Friday, partly because investors are worried that phone companies will grow tired of subsidizing the expensive phones to sell to customers.
The benchmark Dow Jones industrial average rose 135.10 points, or 1.1 percent, to 12,504.48. The S&P 500 rose 20.77 points to 1,315.99, and the Nasdaq jumped 68.42 to 2,847.21.
That was welcome relief after a month that has been crippled by Greece, which failed to elect a new government two weeks ago and is teetering close to leaving the euro. Investors desperate for good news latched on to weekend statements from China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, who promised to boost the country’s growth, a shift from previous rhetoric that focused mainly on curbing inflation.
That drumbeat of bad news about Europe continued, but Apple helped investors shrug it off. The weekend’s Group of Eight meeting of world leaders brought only an ambiguous conclusion, producing promises to pursue growth in Europe but little in the way of concrete plans for how to do so.
“I wish I could say the coast is clear,” said Katherine Nixon, chief investment officer for Northern Trust’s personal financial services unit in Chicago. But, “the G-8 didn’t really solve anything.”
Caterpillar, which is heavily reliant on demand from China, climbed nearly 4 percent to $91.98, just its fourth gain in May.
Several big-name financial firms, including Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, declined; bank stocks tend to fall when investors are concerned about Europe because of the banks’ investments there. JPMorgan Chase, still smarting from an embarrassing trading loss, fell 3 percent to $32.51 after announcing it will halt plans to buy back its own stock.
Major stock indexes in France and Germany rose, but Greece and Spain fell.
Monday was the Dow’s first gain after six straight days of losses, and only its third up day for May. Last week was the worst for the Dow since November. The month has wiped out nearly three-fourths of the Dow’s first-quarter gains.
In other news:
YAHOO: The struggling U.S. Internet company has secured a lifeline after agreeing to sell half of its prized stake in Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba for about $7.1 billion, with most of the cash going to shareholders.
EATON: The diversified manufacturer is buying Irish electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries PLC in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $11.46 billion. The combined company will likely be called Eaton Global Corp.
DAVITA: The dialysis provider is buying doctor network operator HealthCare Partners in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $4.4 billion.
LOWE’S: First-quarter profit climbed 14 percent, as warmer weather helped boost sales. But the world’s second-biggest home improvement company lowered its full-year earnings forecast, saying it is still cautious on the housing market and economic conditions.
CAMPBELL SOUP: Net income slipped by 5 percent in its fiscal third quarter because of higher costs for ingredients and sluggish soup sales.
GOOGLE: The European Union says Google Inc. must in “a matter of weeks” outline steps it is willing to take to ease concerns about alleged abuses of its dominant position in the online search market.
BARCLAYS: The U.K. bank says it intends to dispose of its entire 19.6 percent stake in the U.S. asset management company BlackRock Inc., valued at $6.1 billion.
HOUGHTON: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection.