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Apple stock hits record high, bucking market trend

High-flying Apple stock hit yet another record high Monday on a day when stocks were generally under pressure due to uncertainty about the European debt crisis.

Apple hit a record $413.23 a share before fading a bit to close at $411.63, still a gain of nearly 3 percent on the day. The gain gives Apple a market cap of $371 billion, making it the most valuable U.S.-based company, at least for the moment. Oil giant company Exxon Mobil has a market cap that currently is a bit behind Apple's at $362 billion.

Exxon Mobil fell about 1 percent Monday, in line with broader market indices.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down about 0.9 percent for the day, but that was an improvement over lows hit earlier in the session.  The Dow Jones closed at 11,401.01, down 108.08 points.

Traders were riveted once again to the unfolding scene in Europe, where a so-called "troika" of multinational institutions was meeting in the latest effort to come up with a solution to the Greek debt crisis.

Late in the day Greece's finance minister said a 2-1/2-hour conference call was "productive and substantive." That helped the Dow gain about 100 points in the final hour of trading. Earlier the Dow had been off as much as 250.

The market decline ended a five-day rally.

While there was no particular news to drive Apple's gain for the day, Netflix was among the most-talked-about issues of the day on news that the company will spin off its disc-by-mail service to focus on its core online streaming business. Netflix was down $11.44 or 7 percent at $143.75.

Citigroup was among the  day's most active issues and a big loser, shedding $1.28 or 4 percent to close at $27.71. A book to be published Tuesday contends that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ignored a 2009 order from President Barack Obama to consider dissolving Citigroup. Geithner has dismissed the book, saying it bears no relation to reality.

Tuesday traders will be watching the government's report on housing starts for August, which is due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Federal Reserve chief will open a special two-day meeting of the policymaking Open Market Committee, with a statement expected Wednesday afternoon.