Stocks inch higher

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The major U.S. indexes posted modest gains in the first trading session of the week, adding to five straight weeks of gains. Bobbi Rebell reports.

Stocks inch higher

U.S. stocks were flat Monday. Losses in energy and basic materials shares offset a rally in healthcare. A disappointing drop in home resales last month dampened investor sentiment. The lackluster equities action follows five straight weeks of gains.

Kevin Caron of Washington Crossing Advisors:


“I think part of it is profit taking.”

It’s merger Monday. Starwood is back in Marriott’s arms. It accepted its suitor’s raised bid worth $13.6 billion. That topped a counteroffer from a group led by Chinese insurer Anbang. Shares of the owner of the Sheraton and Westin brands rose, while Marriott fell.

IHS is paying $13 billion to buy British data provider Markit. Both shares of Markit and the publisher of “Jane’s Defence Weekly” rose.

Shares of Valspar catapulted higher and Sherwin-Williams fell. Valspar agreed to be sold to Sherwin-Williams in a $9.3 billion deal that unites rival paint companies.

CEO Michael Pearson is leaving the embattled drugmaker, Valeant, and activist investor Bill Actkman is joining its board. That lifted Valeant’s shares.

In Europe, weakness in commodity stocks pulled down the major indexes.

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