NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks finished well off their intraday highs Monday, barely able to sustain their midday gains.
Markets took a breather from geopolitical concerns Monday. Russia appeared to step back from the brink over Ukraine and there were hopes that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq may have slowed the advance of Islamist rebels there. A renewed three-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza also played a role in the improved mood.
In corporate news, jilted prospective acquirer 21st Century Fox (FOXA - Get Report) is making out quite well following the rejection of its $80 billion offer to Time Warner (TWX - Get Report). Institutional investor ValueAct Capital has disclosed a $1 billion position in the Rupert Murdoch-run media conglomerate and shares added another 1.16% following big gains Friday to close at $34.77.
The stock has regained about 10% since the announcement it had abandoned its Time Warner bid and following a strong fourth quarter, though remains about 1% lower since news of its proposal broke a month earlier.
--By Andrea Tse in New York