Shares of Apple, Home Depot, ISRG and News Corp. Reach Annual Peaks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares closed at $427.75, down $1.36 or 0.32% on the day, but above the 52-week range of $310.50 to $429.47. Apple says that 1,000 higher ed schools are using iTunes U, with downloads of iTunes U content reaching 700M over last four years, has announced iBooks 2 for iPad, featuring iBooks textbooks. The iBookstore will offer educational titles provided by leading educational services giants Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) and Pearson (NYSE:PSO), among others, with most priced at $14.99 or less. Persons having access to a Mac will be able to create iBooks textbooks, using the new iBooks author. New apps which are available today as free downloads include the new iBooks 2 app from the App Store, and iBooks Author from the Mac App Store.

Home Depot (NASDAQ:HD) shares closed at $45.41, up $0.53 or 1.18% on the day, having traded in a 52-week range of $28.13 to $44.99. eBay will launch PayPal pilot program in 51 Home Depots in 2012, which will allow consumers to pay in store via PayPal.

Shares of Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) closed at $474.65, up $3.79 or 0.8% on the day, having traded in a 52-week range of $282.32 to $474.50.  Marking a rise of 24.8%, net income for Intuitive Surgical Inc. rose to $151.2 million ($3.75 per share) vs. $121.2 million ($3.02 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier.

Attorneys representing actor Jude Law and 18 others will receive damages totaling GBP645,000 from News of the World (NASDAQ:NWSA), but additional accusations have been laid out against News Group Newspapers, according to the Financial Times. In a statement, the lawyers say that “News Group has agreed to compensation being assessed on the basis that senior employees and directors of NGN knew about the wrongdoing and sought to conceal it by deliberately deceiving investigators and destroying evidence.” News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) hit its 52-week high of $19.74 per share in late trading action today.