A couple of mergers gave the market a boost. Sysco (SYY) -- the food company, not the tech giant – jumped 9 percent after agreeing to pay $3.5 billion to buy privately held rival U.S. Food. They are two of the largest food distributors in the country, which means the deal is likely to draw the scrutiny of antitrust regulators.
Given Imaging (GIVN) soared 27 percent after agreeing to be swallowed up by Covidien (COV). Given makes pill-sized, ingestible cameras that take pictures from inside patients' bodies. Covidien edged slightly higher.
And American Airlines (AAL) completed its deal to combine with US Airways. The new American Airlines rose nearly 3 percent in its debut on the Nasdaq. United Continental (UAL) and Delta (DAL) both gained 2 percent, despite the weather-related flight delays and cancellations over the past few days.
Among the blue chips: General Electric (GE) and Chevron (CVX) both added one percent, but McDonald's (MCD) fell 1 percent after it said domestic sales fell last month.
In the biotech sector, Celgene (CELG) gained 2 percent and Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) rose 5 percent. Their drug to treat severe anemia showed positive results in a phase 2 trial. And Gilead (GILD) rose nearly 2 percent after winning FDA approval for its $1,000 a day drug to treat hepatitis C.
Other Big Movers Monday:
- Chipmaker Micron (MU) Technology rose another 4 percent. It's one of the market's best performers over the past year -- up a whopping 260 percent.
- OSI Systems (OSIS) tumbled 27 percent after saying its airport detection systems did not meet the TSA's contractual requirements.
- And Newfield Exploration (NFX) fell 8 percent after issuing a disappointing outlook on production and capital expenditures over the next few years.
- At 10 a.m. Eastern time, the Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for October; the Labor Department releases its job openings and labor turnover survey for October; and the Federal Reserve meets to vote on final version of the Volcker Rule.