After Market: Good News at Home Outweighs Foreign Dramas

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The uncertainty in Iraq after insurgents took control of the northern part of the country and worries about Ukraine put Wall Street traders in a cautious mood Monday. But an uptick in industrial production and positive manufacturing data out of New York helped offset some of the negativity among investors.

At the end of the day, Wall Street managed to eek out a slight gain with the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rising 5 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gaining 10 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) up 1.5 points.

It was also a merger-heavy Monday with lots of deals announced and that helped some stocks rally.

Covidien (COV), an Irish medical products-maker, agreed to be acquired by U.S. competitor Medtronic (MDT) for $42.9 billion. If the deal gets regulatory approval, Medtronic will relocate its headquarters from the U.S. to Ireland, where it will benefit from that nation's much lower corporate tax rate. Covidien rallied more than 20 percent while Medtronic was lower by 1 percent.

And Williams Cos. (WMB), an energy infrastructure firm that deals mainly with natural gas, is buying Access Midstream Partners (ACMP) for almost $6 billion. Williams closed 18.5 percent higher and Access Midstream was up almost 2 percent.

Other deals to note included: Sandisk's (SNDK) $1.1 billion purchase of flash storage device maker Fusion-io (FIO), and Level 3 Communications' (LVLT) acquisition of Internet service provider TW Telecom (TWTC) for $5.6 billion.

Data showing homebuilder sentiment has risen to its highest level since January gave construction stocks a boost. Lennar (LEN) was up 1.5 percent and PulteGroup (PHM) gained 0.5 percent.

Among other stocks to watch was Yahoo (YHOO), which fell almost 6 percent. The drop was driven by its substantial stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which just reported its revenue growth slowed in the first quarter of this year. But Yahoo's stock has risen 33 percent over the past year. Much of that boost has come from Yahoo's stake in Alibaba, which is gearing up for what could be the largest U.S. initial public offering in history.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) revved higher by almost 9 percent. So far this year, the stock is up 37 percent. It seems investors aren't particularly worried about the recent announcement that the company will open up its patents to use by competitors.

Finally, Goodyear Tire (GT) was on a roll, gaining almost 4 percent after Barron's predicted the stock could rally 50 percent over the next two years thanks to growing demand.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • Federal Reserve governors begin a two-day policy-setting meeting in Washington.
  • At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Labor Department releases the Consumer Price Index for May, and the Commerce Department reports housing starts for May.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements after U.S. markets close:
  • Bob Evans Farms (BOBE)
  • La-Z-Boy (LZB)
-Produced by Karina Huber.


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