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Stocks end with gains despite turbulent trading

Trader William McInerney, right, works on the floor

Trader William McInerney, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks rose broadly and then fell back with smaller gains for the close Monday following the release of economic data and news of a big acquisition in the semiconductor industry. Nine of the 10 industry sectors of the Standard & Poor's 500 index were higher.

At the close on Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 4.3 points, about 0.2 percent, at 2,111.7. It fell 0.9 percent last week. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 29.7 points, about 0.2 percent, at 18,040.4, and the Nasdaq composite gained nearly 13 points, about 0.3 percent, to nearly 5,083.

ENERGY: As the markets closed, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was up 0.2 percent at $60.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CHIP DEAL: Altera closed up $2.83, about 5.8 percent, at $51.68 after the chip designer agreed to be acquired by Intel for $17 billion in cash. Intel fell 56 cents to close $33.90, a loss of 1.6 percent.

EYES ON THE ECONOMY: U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated in May for the first time in six months, propelled by more new orders and an increase in hiring, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group. A separate report showed construction spending climbed in April to the highest level in more than six years.

The two reports were welcome news to investors who had sold stocks on Friday following news that the U.S. economy shrank in the first three months of this year. Investors are awaiting several economic reports this week, culminating Friday with a report on hiring in May.

THE QUOTE: "The market is looking at the data and saying this is good. It supports the idea that GDP will rebound in the second quarter," said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities. He cautioned, though, that he doesn't think growth will be fast enough to justify the big corporate profit gains necessary to push stock prices higher.

GREECE UNCERTAINTY: Tensions remain high in Europe as Greece inches closer to a Friday deadline to make a debt payment to the International Monetary Fund. Greece is struggling to convince the IMF and creditors in Europe that it has a reform strategy in place so it can get access to more bailout cash.

One suggestion is that Greece could roll all its IMF payments due this month into one, giving it more time to secure a deal to get the $7.9 billion remaining in its bailout fund.

ANALYST TAKE: "Concerns about Greece continue to hold investors back from taking on too much risk," said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at "With the lack of progress on the issue the pressure is now growing."

CHINA SLOWDOWN: Two surveys Monday showed China's manufacturing industry, which employs millions of people, remained weak last month. That has added pressure on Beijing to roll out more measures to keep growth of the world's second-largest economy on target. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing's manufacturing index showed activity stagnating. HSBC's manufacturing index showed manufacturing contracted for a third straight month.


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