Upbeat data, Intel deal boost stocks
Stocks rose Monday after the release of some encouraging economic data and news of a big acquisition in the semiconductor industry.
The gains were modest but broad. Eight of the 10 industry sectors in the Standard and Poor’s 500 index ended higher, led by industrial stocks with a gain of 0.4%.
The biggest gainer in the S&P 500 was chip designer Altera, the target of a $17-billion cash offer by giant chip maker Intel. Altera jumped $2.83 to $51.68, a 6% gain. Companies have been combining at a rapid clip, helping to boost stocks in the seventh year of the bull market.
The S&P 500 rose 4.34 points, or 0.2%, to 2,111.73. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 29.69 points, or 0.2%, to 18,040.37. The Nasdaq composite climbed 12.90 points, or 0.3%, to 5,082.93.
In economic news, U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated in May for the first time in six months, propelled by more new orders and an increase in hiring, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group. A separate report showed construction spending climbed in April to the highest level in more than six years.
Investors are anxious about U.S. growth following a series of weak data, capped by news Friday that the economy shrank in the first three months of the year. They’ll have a better sense of the growth outlook this week after several other economic reports are released, culminating Friday with one on hiring in May.
The Altera deal follows several other blockbuster corporate deals recently, including a $55-billion acquisition by Charter Communications for rival Time Warner Cable last week. So far this year, more than $700 billion in deals have been announced, a 43% jump from the same period a year earlier, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Intel fell 55 cents to $33.91, a loss of 1.6%, the biggest drop in the Dow index.
The price of oil slipped slightly as the dollar gained strength, making oil less attractive to holders of foreign currencies. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 10 cents to close at $60.20 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, fell 68 cents to close at $64.88 a barrel in London.
In other futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline fell 2.1 cents to close at $2.042 a gallon.
U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.18% from 2.12% late Friday.