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Stock Market Today: Small Gains For U.S. Stocks as Mergers Overshadow Global Anxieties

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks recouped losses sustained earlier in the day as merger news outweighed weaker-than-expected domestic housing data, and Russia was hit by sanctions from the U.S. and promises of more from the European Union in coming days.

Equities may get a boost later this week from the Federal Reserve's policy committee and second-quarter growth numbers on Wednesday followed by July government jobs report on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) closed 0.13% higher to 16,981.95 while he S&P 500 (^GSPC) was little changed at 1,978.89. The Nasdaq (QQQ) fell 0.1% to 4,444.91.

All major indices were in the red earlier in the day as the EU warned of tighter sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, particularly in the sectors of finance, defense and energy. The White House also said it expected to increase its own restrictions already in place.

Stateside, June pending home sales slipped 1.1% month on month to 102.7, well below analysts' estimates for a 0.3% gain. Last month's decline compares to May's 6% increase.

In deal news, Dollar Tree (DLTR - Get Report) agreed to buy Family Dollar (FDO) for $8.5 billion in cash and stock. Family Dollar shares surged 24.9% to $75.74, while Dollar Tree added 1.2% to $54.87. Trulia (TRLA) closed 15.4% higher to $65.04 on news Zillow had entered into a definitive agreement to buy the real estate search engine for $3.5 billion in stock.

Tyson Foods (TSN) climbed 2.6% to $40.56 on the news it will sell its Mexico and Brazil assets, in line with its focus on reducing its foreign operations. Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) will buy the Mexican poultry business for $400 million, while Brazil-based JBS will purchase the remainder.

Rite Aid (RAD), the heaviest-traded stock on U.S. markets on Monday, slipped 5.1% to $6.69 after investor David Einhorn announced his hedge fund Greenlight Capital had sold its position in the drugstore chain last quarter. 

McDonald's (MCD) shares were little changed even as the company reels from the continuing tainted-meat scandal. On Monday, chains in China were offering a much-reduced menu. The world's largest hamburger chain has stuck with the offending supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, and its owner, U.S.-based OSI, out of necessity.

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