After-bell earnings from Apple impress

US stocks rose to fresh 12-month highs yesterday as optimistic investors rode a wave of solid quarterly earnings, which continued after the session&rsquo;s close when <strong>Apple&rsquo;s</strong> shares jumped on its results.<br /><br />Earnings from companies, including Gannett, which beat analysts&rsquo; expectations, and positive broker commentary on <strong>Caterpillar</strong> further encouraged investors looking for confirmation the economy is healing.<br /><br />After the closing bell, Apple extended the stocks&rsquo; momentum following the iPhone maker&rsquo;s results that also beat estimates and lifted US stock index futures. Its shares jumped 7 per cent in extended trading.<br /><br />&ldquo;The fact that they beat as aggressively as they have tells me that they are selling music, telephones and personal computers in a market where everyone has thought up until now that the consumer is dead,&rdquo; said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors.<br /><br />&ldquo;So clearly the rumors of the demise of the American consumer have been greatly exaggerated. Either that or Apple is just doing a phenomenal job that consumers can&rsquo;t help themselves, they have to buy their products.&rdquo;<br /><br />Consumer spending is a closely watched economic indicator, as it accounts for roughly two-thirds of the US economy.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI added 96.28 points, or 0.96 per cent, to end at 10,092.19. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index gained 10.23 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 1,097.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 19.52 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 2,176.32.<br /><br />The Dow industrials and the S&amp;P 500 closed at levels not seen since October 2008, while Nasdaq is at an almost 13-month closing high.<br /><br />Apple&rsquo;s stock rose above $203 in extended trading after the company reported better-than-expected results as iPhone and Mac sales hit quarterly records. Apple shares jumped 7 per cent to $203.23.<br />