|S&P 500 bounces into high ground
US stocks finished higher as a February rally accelerated amid continued strength of some high-flying technology equities.
The broad-market S&P 500 was up 11.36 points (0.62 percent) to 1,847.61, narrowly missing an all-time record.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 103.84 (0.64 percent) at 16,207.14, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 29.56 (0.69 percent) to 4,292.97.
The Dow has risen 3.2 percent in February so far after falling 5.3 percent in January.
Monday's gains were led by prominent technology equities such as Netflix (+3.4 percent), Tesla Motors (+3.8 percent) and Facebook (+3.2 percent).
Activist investor Carl Icahn took aim at eBay, pushing for a spinoff of the company's PayPal unit and blasting directors for conflicts of interest. Shares jumped 3.1 percent.
The takeover saga between Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A Bank Clothiers opened a new chapter when Men's Wearhouse raised its bid for Jos. A. Bank from US$57.50 to US$63.50 per share if Jos. A. Bank terminates its proposed acquisition of Eddie Bauer.
The two companies have been maneuvering since Men's Wearhouse rejected Jos. A. Bank's buyout offer last fall. Men's Wearhouse jumped 7.5 percent while Jos. A. Bank increased 9.1 percent.
Health insurer Humana got a lift as the government's Medicare Advantage program for seniors announced lower cuts to its payments to insurers than expected. Humana shares added 10.6 percent.
Independent oil and gas producer Chesapeake Energy rose 2.7 percent after announcing it is considering a spin-off of its oil services unit.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.75 percent from 2.73 percent Friday, while the 30-year increased to 3.71 percent from 3.70 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.—AFP