Stocks rose slightly on Monday after a wave of multibillion-dollar mergers seemed to offer some comfort for investors and oil prices moved back from a six-week high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.06, or 0.1 percent, to 10,467.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.49, or 0.1 percent, to 1,197.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.33, or 0.2 percent, to 2,075.76.
On the merger front, Washington Mutual Inc. agreed to buy credit card issuer Providian Financial Corp. for $6.5 billion, and ProLogis said it would buy rival real-estate investment trust Catellus Development Corp. for $3.6 billion in cash and stock. Also, oilfield services provider Weatherford International Ltd. said it planned to buy two segments of Precision Drilling Corp. in a deal valued at $2.3 billion in cash and stock.
And crude futures hit a six-week high earlier in the session, but gave back gains later in the day. A barrel of light crude settled at $54.49, down 54 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Among local movers, shares of Korn/Ferry International Inc. jumped 9.4 percent to $17.48 after the L.A.-based recruitment company's stock was raised to "outperform" from "neutral" by analyst Mark S. Marcon at Robert W. Baird & Co. The price target was set at $21 per share.
Tekelec rose 4.7 percent to $14.14 after the Calabasas-based network signaling products company's stock was rated "buy" in new coverage by analyst Tim Savageaux at Merriman Curhan Ford & Co.
And Teledyne Technologies Inc. edged up 1.7 percent to $31.58 after the L.A.-based company said its subsidiary, Teledyne Investment, agreed to acquire Cougar Components Corp., a Sunnyvale-based microwave, microelectronic and optoelectronic company, for $26.5 million. Teledyne said the transaction, expected to close on or about June 30, would add to its earnings in 2005.
Shares of IRIS International Inc. fell 1.3 percent to $18.10 after the Chatsworth-based urinalysis systems manufacturer announced the closing of the acquisition of the urinalysis business segment of Quidel Corp. for $500,000 in cash by its subsidiary, IRIS Deutschland GmbH.
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