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Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs

May 19 2015 07:47

New York -The Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh highs on Monday, following acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and apparel sectors and a rise in Dow member Apple.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.32 points to 18 298.88, besting the prior market set on March 2 by 10 points.

The S&P 500 notched its third successive record, rising 6.47 points to 2 129.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 30.15 points to 5 078.44.

All three indices got a lift from the latest call from activist Carl Icahn for more share buybacks from Apple.

Icahn told Apple in an open letter he believes its shares are worth $240. That sent the largest US company by market capitalisation up 1.1% to $130.19, and helped to lift the Nasdaq within 15 points of its all-time peak.

The records also came as Endo International announced an $8.05bn acquisition deal for privately held US firm Par Pharmaceutical Holdings to strengthen its generic drugs business, the latest deal in a string of drug-industry mergers. Endo fell 5.4%.

Women's apparel company ANN, parent of chain Ann Taylor, surged 19.9% following news it will be acquired by Ascena Retail Group for about $2.2bn. Ascena, which owns the Dressbarn and Lane Bryant chains, fell 1.09%.

Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management, said volume was light on a day with no major economic indicators.

"There doesn't seem to be sellers coming to market so you have this quiet drift up," Blicksilver said.

Semiconductor company Altera jumped 5.7% following a report in the New York Post saying that it had resumed talks with potential acquirer Intel. Dow member Intel rose 1.2%.

Dow member Chevron fell 1.3% following a downgrade by Goldman Sachs.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.23% from 2.14% on Friday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.03% from 2.94%. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

equities  |  wall street  |  markets
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