Updated from 1:12 p.m. EDT
Stocks in the U.S. marched higher in a shortened session Tuesday, giving the major indices a two-day winning streak to start the third quarter.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 41.87 points, or 0.31%, at 13,577.30, and the
added 5.44 points, or 0.36%, to 1524.87. The
was ahead by 12.65 points, or 0.48%, at 2644.95.
New York trading ended early at 1 p.m. EDT, and Wednesday will be a day off in order to observe the Independence Day holiday.
Volume was meager for the abbreviated session. Only 1.57 billion shares changed hands on the
New York Stock Exchange
, as advancers topped decliners by a 5-to-3 margin. Volume on the Nasdaq reached 1.07 billion shares, with winners outpacing losers 8 to 7.
"There's not too much to say about today's session, even though there was a little buying ahead of the holiday," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC.
"Historically, the two days following the July 4th holiday haven't been positive for markets, so we could see profit-taking at the end of this week," he added. "Whatever traders that will be around will be focusing on Friday's important nonfarm payrolls report."
The latest rise marked a continuation of the previous session's advance, when merger activity and economic data lifted the market.
The Dow ended the prior day up 126.81 points, or 0.95%, to 13,535.43. The S&P rose 16.08 points, or 1.07%, to 1519.43, and the Nasdaq increased 29.07 points, or 1.12%, at 2632.30.
"With the start of the third quarter, investors have an opportunity to take on new riskier positions and have three months to see if they pan out," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist with Cantor Fitzgerald.
On the corporate side, more deals were being contemplated, including a move by
, who said it plans to buy the cookie business of France's
for more than $7 billion. Kraft shed 87 cents, or 2.5%, to close at $34.66. Groupe Danone gave back 20 cents, or 1.2%, to $16.65.
made an offer for fellow Canadian miner
worth C$4.1 billion in cash and stock, extending a trend toward consolidation in the group. Teck Cominco fell by $1.40, or 3.2%, to $43.06.
Meanwhile, a study showed that
painkiller Vioxx, which was pulled off the market in 2004, might have been dangerous sooner than the company believed, according to
The Wall Street Journal
The newspaper, which reviewed the so-far unpublished study, said heart problems could emerge soon after people started on the drug. Merck has said risks only began after 18 months of use, and that has been one of the keys of its defense against the thousands of Vioxx-related lawsuits it's facing. Merck added 26 cents, or 0.5%, to $49.83.
plunged 65.1% after the movie renter said it will default on certain financial requirements due to weak second-quarter earnings. The stock dove $1.23 to close at 66 cents.
As for research calls, UBS upgraded
to buy from neutral, and the firm downgraded
to reduce from neutral. Business Objects was higher by 2.2% to $40.32, while Caterpillar sank 3.1% to $77.99.
Automakers were also posting vehicle sales results for June.
said sales fell 8.1% last month, and
posted a 2% decline.
will post results later in the day.
Oil had been lower, but it turned around and rose 3 cents to $71.12 a barrel. Natural gas was off by 3 cents to $6.72 per million British thermal units. Among metals, gold was lower by $3.40 to $655.80 an ounce, and silver was down 4 cents to $12.70.
Treasury prices tumbled after the 10 a.m. EDT reports on pending home sales and factory orders. The National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales slid 3.5% in May, slightly more than expectations.
The Commerce Department said that factory orders fell 0.5% in the month, better than expectations for a 1.2% decline. Excluding transportation, factory orders were higher by 0.7%.
The 10-year note was down 14/32 in price to yield 5.05%, and the 30-year bond eased 25/32 in price, yielding 5.15%, The dollar was lower against the world's major currencies.
Overseas, stocks were generally stronger. Tokyo's Nikkei was unchanged, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.7%. London's FTSE was up 0.8%, and Frankfurt's DAX climbed 1.2%.