Stocks Finish Mixed
Stocks ended mixed Monday with the blue chip Dow industrials setting a new closing high but S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes in the red. Investors appeared to be taking some profits after stocks' recent strong run.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20.56 points, or 0.15%, to 13,346.78 after touching a record intraday high of 13,383.76 earlier in the session. Strength in General Motors (DCX) helped keep the average in the black.
The broader S&P 500 index was down 2.7 points, or 0.18%, to 1,503.15. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell 15.78 points, or 0.62%, to 2,546.44.
Investors weighed a big deal in the auto sector, as Cerberus Capital Management agreed to buy an 80.1% stake in DaimlerChrysler's (DCX) Chrysler unit for $7.4 billion. M&A activity has been a factor in the market's rise to record high, with better than expected earnings and prospects for continued strength among the other reasons, notes Standard & Poor's.
The Chrysler news was only one of the factors influencing auto shares. Ford (F) shares also benefited from a news report that Ford family members were considering selling part of their controlling interest in the company. General Motors was higher after Bear Stearns upgraded its rating on the shares to outperform.
Also in M&A news, Germany's Merck KGaA reached a deal to sell its generic drug business to Mylan Labs (MYL) for $6.6 billion.
Viasys Healthcare (VAS) agreed to be acquired by Cardinal Health (CAH) for about $1.5 billion, including assumption of outstanding debt, or about $42.75 per Viasys share in cash.
In the energy markets, June NYMEX crude last traded up 14 cents per barrel at $62.51, after ranging between $62.16 and $63.04 in New York trading. A retreat in front-month gasoline prices knocked crude lower in late trading, says Action Economics.
European stock markets turned lower in late trading Monday. In London, the FTSE 100 index was down 0.16% to 6,555.5. Germany's DAX index fell 0.26% to 7,459.61. In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 0.4% to 6,026.42.
Asian markets ended higher. In Japan, the Nikkei index gained 0.71% to 17,677.94. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index soared 2.5% to 20,979.24.
Treasuries weakened modestly Monday, reflecting a
defensive bias ahead of the April CPI and May Empire Sate Index releases Tuesday morning.
The 10-year note fell 04/32 in price to 98-17/32
for a yield of 4.68%. The 30-year bond fell 05/32 to 98-09/32 for a yield of 4.86%.