Dow Standard and Poor 500 score fresh highs

US stocks rallied, with the Dow and the Standard and Poor 500 extending record winning streaks amid a fresh burst of merger and acquisition activity on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.82 points (0.11 percent) to 16,943.10 on Monday, its third straight close at a record high.

The broad-market Standard and Poor 500 edged up 1.83 (0.09 percent) to 1,951.27, eking out a record for the fourth session in a row.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index outperformed, advancing 14.84 (0.34 percent) to 4,336.24.

Tyson Foods, the world’s second-largest meat processor, won the bidding war for sausage and hot dog maker Hillshire Foods against rival Pilgrim’s Pride with an offer worth $8.6 billion.

Hillshire shares jumped 5.3 percent, while Tyson dived 6.5 percent and Pilgrim’s shed 6.7 percent.

Antiviral drug developer Idenix Pharmaceuticals soared 229.1 percent after Merck offered $3.85 billion for the company, mainly interested in Idenix’s pipeline of hepatitis C drugs.

Meanwhile Gilead Sciences, with a rival hepatitis C treatment, lost 4.1 percent.

Merck added 0.2 percent.

Apple shares swung higher Monday as investors remained upbeat on the US tech giant in the first day of trading after a 7-for-1 stock split.

Apple gained 1.5 percent to close at $93.70, still below the all-time high in September 2012 of just over $100, on a basis adjusted for Monday’s split.

Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity said he was optimistic Apple would rally further this year as it launches the larger-screen iPhone 6.

Netflix fell 1.6 percent as a shareholder effort to push the company to separate the chairman and chief executive positions — both now held by founder Reed Hastings — failed to get majority support in a vote. The measure, which passed last year, was non-binding.

Wall Street’s king raider, Carl Icahn, sent shares of discount chain Family Dollar rising 13.4 percent after disclosing he had a more than nine percent stake in the company.

Shares in magazine publishing giant Time Inc. lost ground in the first trading day after its spinoff from Time Warner, falling 0.8 percent to $23.30.

Bond prices fell for the second straight session. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.61 percent from 2.60 percent Friday, while the 30-year increased to 3.45 percent from 3.44 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.


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