Stocks ended slightly higher on Monday, amid oil prices that rose past $65 a barrel and several large acquisitions that intrigued investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 10.66, or 0.1 percent, at 10,569.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 2.02, or 0.2 percent, to 1,221.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 5.85, or 0.3 percent, to 2,141.41.
With no economic data to guide the markets, traders looked to oil prices, which gained on news of sabotage that cut power to Iraq's only functioning oil-export terminals. Light sweet crude for September delivery rose 10 cents to settle at $65.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
And a wave of merger news offered some support to the market. State-owned Chinese oil company CNPC announced plans to buy PetroKazakhstan for $4.2 billion, Maytag Corp. signed a formal agreement to be acquired by rival appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. for more than $1.7 billion, and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to purchase Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $935 million in stock and cash.
Among local movers, shares of LJ International Inc. rose 4.8 percent to $2.60 after the Hong Kong-based jewelry company with U.S. headquarters in Walnut released a statement from CEO Yu Chuan Yih, discussing company strategy on how it is working to expand into the potentially lucrative mainland Chinese market. Yu talked about his company's store openings in China and the robust and developing Chinese economy.
And 3-D Systems Corp. gained 2.8 percent to $21.85 after the Valencia-based three-dimensional printing company's stock was rated "buy" in new coverage by analyst Dennis C. Wassung Jr. at Adams Harkness. The 12-month price target was set at $26 per share.
On the down side, shares of WPT Enterprises Inc. lost 6.8 percent to $13.34 as investors awaited the late Monday release of its second-quarter results. Shares of the L.A.-based creator of World Poker Tour television series sunk in after-hours trading when it reported an unexpected second-quarter loss and forecast a drop in revenue for the third quarter.
And K-Swiss Inc. fell 2.6 percent to $31.91 after the Westlake Village-based footwear maker's stock rating was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" by analyst Deena Friedman at Brean Murray Securities Inc. The 12-month price target was set at $35 per share.
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