Stocks higher on deal hopes

NEW YORK (AP) — It was a choppy ride for the stock market on Monday that ended with major U.S. indexes closing mostly higher.

Traders were pulled in multiple directions. Stocks opened higher, fell in the afternoon, and then rose again in the last hour of trading.

Bank stocks fell after Bank of America said a financial error would force it to cancel its stock buyback plan and dividend increase, while health care stocks rose after U.S. drug giant Pfizer renewed its pursuit of a merger with British rival AstraZeneca. Formerly highflying technology stocks fell again, dragging the Nasdaq composite index into the red.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 6.03 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,869.43. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87.28 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,448.74 and the Nasdaq edged down 1.16 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,074.40. The Nasdaq erased most of a 61-point loss.

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