New York: US stocks rose on Monday, boosted by merger news and rising metals prices as investors bet on a stronger global economy. The S&P 500 moved above a key short-term resistance level at 1,313.15, trading at its highest intraday level since June 2008.
Diversified industrial company Danaher Corp agreed to buy medical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter Inc for about $6.8 billion and oil drilling company EnsCo Plc will buy rival Pride International Inc for about $7.3 billion.
The deals provided the latest signs that stock valuations are attractive.
“Despite the recent gains, stock prices are still attractive on a relative basis,” said Steve Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“We’re in the phase of the cycle that suggests stock prices hold better value than other asset classes.”
Basic materials stocks rose as the price of copper hit a record on concerns about supply and as economic data recently boosted the outlook for demand.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 51.43 points, or 0.43%, to 12,143.58. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 6.16 points, or 0.47%, to 1,317.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 13.32 points, or 0.48%, to 2,782.62.
UBS raised its 2011 target for the S&P 500 index by 7.5% to 1,425 from 1,325, citing an improving outlook for the economy and earnings.