February 24, 2014 -- 4:15 p.m. - 02/24/14

Stocks rallied on Mondays session. The Dow was up 104 points to 16207. The S&P 500 gained 11 points to 1847 to put the index less than a point from its all-time high of 1848. The NASDAQ rose 30 points to 4292.

The major averages advanced amid an increase in merger activity. Shares of RF Micro Devices climbed 21% to $7.03 after agreeing to purchase TriQuint Semiconductor for approximately $1.6 billion. Jos. A. Banks jumped 9.1% to $60.04 after rival Mens Wearhouse increased its offer to buy the company.

Todays advance was also attributed to investor optimism that the recently weak economic data was due to the winter weather. Stocks rose even after a report showed manufacturing activity in the Dallas region slowed during February.

Nine of 10 sectors in the S&P 500 were up on the session. Energy was the best performing group. Exxon rose 1.5% to $96.44. Financials and industrials also paced the advance. Morgan Stanley gained 2.3% to $30.31. General Electric was 1.4% higher at $25.29. Shares of Humana were a notable gainer, climbing 10.6% to $113.69 after it said government cuts to Medicare Advantage appear to be less than projected. Telecom was the lone sector in negative territory. Verizon slipped 2.2% to $46.23.

Breadth was positive on issues by 5-3 on the NYSE and 2-1 on the NASDAQ. Composite NYSE volume totaled 3.7 billion shares.

Treasuries were lower with 10-year note down 3/32 to yield 2.74%.

This information is obtained from sources and data considered to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed by Wells Fargo Advisors.Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company.

 

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