Wall St. Brief: Apple Hits $700, Lenovo Buys Stoneware, GE Cuts Health Costs

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares hit $700 in after-hours trading on Monday. Earlier in the day, the company said initial iPhone 5 sales results  exceeded expectations as more than 2 million pre-orders came in the first 24 hours; this represented twice the number for the iPhone 4S. Investors will now look to the weekend for another sales figure as the phone hitting retail stores on Friday.

Don’t Miss: Apple is Having the Best Launch Ever.

Lenovo (LNVGY.PK), the No. 2 global PC maker, has agreed to purchase Stoneware Inc. This will give the company technology related to synchronizing data across mobile devices. Lenovo VP Mark Cohen said the company will utilize the acquisition to build a consumers’ “public cloud” and compete with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iCloud service.

Ford (NYSE:F) execs are on the road this week gathering support for the company’s new 2013 Ford Fusion. The redesigned car will try to take on its rivals Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Honda (NYSE:HMC) in the mid-size market. Ford is trying to erase its 15-year dry spell of having the best U.S.-selling car. Look for Chrysler and Honda (NYSE:HMC) to soon introduce challengers.

Dole Foods (NYSE:DOLE) is selling its worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses to Itochu for $1.69 billion. From the deal, Itochu gets trademark rights on packaged food products worldwide along with fresh produce in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The sale will enable Dole to streamline its operations, getting $50 million per year in annual cash savings and recapitalize its debt structure.

A General Electric (NYSE:GE) plan for 85,000 workers on a high-deductible health care plans lowers its multi-billion dollar health costs and falls in with other major corporations trends, but it comes with a side effect. The company’s heath-care business has dropped sharply as the usage of advanced imaging including MRIs and CT scans have declined. One estimate has spending off 28 percent over the last five years as families cover the costs themselves. It’s a trend that GE will keep an eye on; it represents 20 percent of its health care business.

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