Wall St. up on deals, bonds up on ECB; Brent slides

Mon Mar 9, 2015 5:10pm EDT
 
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday on the back of billion-dollar M&A deals, while U.S. and euro zone bond prices rose as the European Central Bank started its bond-buying program.

Benchmark Brent crude prices fell on concern that the ECB move implied deflationary pressures, while U.S. crude rose on bullish storage data, narrowing the gap between the two benchmarks.

Deal news buoyed Wall Street after two consecutive weekly losses, with the S&P 500 index ending within 2 percent of its record high set last week. Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N: Quote) bid $14.4 billion for fellow mall operator Macerich Co MAC.N and Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote) agreed to buy titanium supplier RTI International Metals Inc RTI.N.

On Friday, the index posted its largest daily decline in two months.

"We're seeing a little bit of a snapback from Friday's reaction to the jobs report. We're seeing a little of that reversion-to-the-mean trade coming back," said Larry Peruzzi, senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets Inc in Boston.

European shares ended lower as investors took profits after recent gains fueled by optimism about the ECB's bond purchase program, aimed at reviving inflation and economic growth. European and Asian stocks were also pressured by Friday's forecast-beating U.S. jobs data, which stoked expectations the Fed would raise interest rates sooner. The data showed wage inflation pressures, however, were muted.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 138.94 points, or 0.78 percent, to 17,995.72, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 8.17 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,079.43 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 15.07 points, or 0.31 percent, to 4,942.44.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 ended down 0.24 percent and Nikkei futures NKc1 were little changed after sharp overnight losses in Tokyo. An MSCI gauge of stocks in major markets .MIWD00000PUS   Continued...

 
A man riding on a bicycle looks at an electronic board showing the Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino