Markets greeted the start of the second half of the trading year with optimism Monday thanks in part from news from the Commerce Department showing a 0.5% rise in construction spending during May, combined with an Institute for Supply Management report showing an expansion in manufacturing.
Bolstered by a big move ahead in Apple (AAPL) — sparked by an analyst upgrade from Raymond James — the Nasdaq led the way higher, closing ahead 0.92% to 3434.49. The S&P 500 moved ahead 0.54% to 1614.96, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.44% to close at 14974.96.
Corporate news and analyst calls helped move prices on individual stocks.
Biopharmaceutical maker Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) soared more than 50% after rejecting an unsolicited bid of $120 per share — or 38% higher than Friday’s closing price — from Amgen (AMGN) on Sunday.
Social game-maker Zynga (ZNGA) rose more than 10% after CEO Mark Pincus stepped down, and reports surfaced saying it is hiring Don Mattrick, former head of Microsoft’s (MSFT) entertainment division, to replace Pincus.
On the analyst side, Best Buy (BBY) shares surged more than 8% to set a new 52-week high after Credit Suisse re-initiated coverage of the stock with an “outperform” rating. That follows up a first half in which BBY was the second-best performer in the S&P 500, ahead 128%.
Electric car-maker Tesla (TSLA) headed 9% higher after Jefferies raised its target price on the stock to $130 per share, saying it would deliver 21,000 Model S cars in 2013.
Internet radio service Pandora (P) also got the benefit of an upgrade, rising 3% and touching a new 52-week high after being raised from “equal weight” to “overweight” at Morgan Stanley.
- Barnes & Noble (BKS): Up 9% ($1.43) to $17.39.
- JinkoSolar Holding (JKS): Up 8.6% (78 cents) to $9.82.
- Orbitz Worldwide (OWW): up 7.1% (57 cents) to $8.60.
- Covidien (COV): Down 8.6% ($5.43) to $57.41.
- National Bank of Greece (NBG): Down 4.6% (16 cents) to $3.29.
- T-Mobile US (TMUS): Down 4.4% ($1.09) to $23.72.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL and MSFT.