Stocks Start Week With Gains

Mergers, stronger than expected new home sales and new offerings from the Wintel duo got stocks off to a solid start to the week on Monday.

Microsoft rose 1.4% on a unified communications offering, while Intel climbed 1.6% after leapfrogging AMD in the server chip battle. AMD shares lost 1.9%.

The broader market got a boost from healthcare and mining mergers and an unexpected jump in new home sales from April to May.

Investors will have much to contend with later in the week. The Federal Reserve is expected to continue its two-year rate-hike campaign on Thursday, and investors will be studying the accompanying policy statement for hints as to when the Fed will finally be finished.

The Nasdaq rose 12 to 2133, the S&P 500 climbed 6 to 1250, and the Dow gained 56 to 11,045. Volume declined to 1.88 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.44 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 20-12 on the NYSE, and 18-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 68% on the NYSE, and 64% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 41-184 on the NYSE, and 60-88 on the Nasdaq.

JDS Uniphase and Sun lost ground on negative comments by Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Bernstein, who raised general concerns about technology valuations and earnings growth.

Shares of Somera Communications doubled on a buyout offer.

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