The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was rallying on Tuesday, although it underperformed the other major stock indices. A new COVID-19 stimulus bill worth over $900 billion was unveiled by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, perhaps increasing the chances that stimulus legislation is passed before the Biden administration begins in January. The Dow was up about 0.93% at 2 p.m. EST.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was leading the Dow higher on Tuesday, surging more than 3% despite only minor news related to cloud access to its Mac computers for developers. Meanwhile, shares of Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) were lower a few hours before the software company was scheduled to report quarterly results and potentially announce the acquisition of Slack (NYSE:WORK).

An Apple Mac Mini.

Image source: Apple.

Apple stock jumps

There was only minor news related to tech giant Apple on Tuesday, but the stock was the Dow's top performer, nonetheless. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and cloud-computing giant Amazon were teaming up to allow developers to leverage Amazon's cloud to develop applications for Apple's devices.

Amazon will be installing Mac Minis into its Amazon Web Services data centers, giving customers the ability to use the hardware remotely to develop, test, and run their software. Apple hardware is required to develop applications for Apple's products, so the service will free developers from having to buy and maintain Mac computers.

Amazon will at first install older versions of Apple's Mac Mini, but the company will update the hardware as Apple releases new products. Apple rolled out a new version of the Mac Mini powered by its custom M1 processor in November -- the first Mac to use an ARM-based CPU.

This service comes at a time when Apple is under fire for its policies and fees surrounding the company's App Store. The company is in a legal battle with Epic Games, the gaming company behind Fortnite, and it could face antitrust action in the U.S. targeting its tight control over app distribution and payments on its platforms.

Shares of Apple were up about 3.5% Tuesday afternoon. The stock has soared roughly 68% so far this year.

Salesforce.com down ahead of earnings report

Customer-relationship management-software provider Salesforce is scheduled to report its third-quarter results after the market closes on Tuesday. Rumors suggest the company -- on top of posting its results -- will announce a blockbuster acquisition of collaboration software provider Slack.

Analysts are expecting Salesforce to report third-quarter revenue of $5.25 billion, up 16.3% year over year. Adjusted earnings per share is expected to be unchanged from the third quarter of last year at $0.75.

The big news, though, will be whether or not Salesforce goes through with its rumored acquisition of Slack. The price tag may be in excess of Slack's current market capitalization of roughly $24 billion, making the deal one of the largest software acquisitions in history. Acquiring Slack will put Salesforce into deeper competition with Microsoft, which bundles Slack-alternative Teams with some of its business Office subscription plans.

Shares of Salesforce were down about 1.5% by Tuesday afternoon, while shares of Slack were up about 2.1%. Salesforce stock has jumped nearly 50% this year, while Slack has nearly doubled. However, almost all of Slack's gains have come over the past month.