NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Nasdaq hit 5,000 for the first time in 15 years after news broke of two mergers in the computer hardware industry. The tech-heavy index was boosted by separate deals news from NXP Semiconductors(NXPI) - Get Report and Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) - Get Report, which kicked off a rally among chipmakers.
The Nasdaq jumped 0.67%, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.41% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.67%.
NXP Semiconductors agreed to buy Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $11.8 billion. The chipmakers expect the deal to close in the second half of the year. NXP shares were up 15.9% and Freescale jumped 10.7%.
Hewlett-Packard announced it had agreed to purchase Aruba Networks (ARUN) for $2.7 billion in an all-cash deal, valuing the latter at $24.67 a share, less than current trading levels. Aruba Networks shares had rallied last week on reports of Hewlett-Packard's interest. Hewlett-Packard shares were slightly lower, while Aruba slipped 1.5%.
Intel (INTC) - Get Report was up 1.6%, Avago Technologies(AVGO) - Get Report jumped 1.5%, Broadcom (BRCM) added 1.1%, and Texas Instruments(TXN) - Get Report climbed 1.8%. The Technology SPDR ETF (XLK) - Get Report was up 0.51%.
The ISM Manufacturing Index slipped to 52.9 in February from 53.5 a month earlier. The reading was a touch below analysts' estimates of 53. Construction spending fell 1.1% in January to $971.4 billion, far below an expected increase of 0.3% following 0.4% growth in December.
After months of worryingly slow growth, the People's Bank of China cut its benchmark lending and deposit rates by 0.25%, the second rate adjustment in less than four months. Recent data had shown fourth-quarter GDP in China at its slowest growth rate in more than 20 years. The Shanghai Composite closed 0.78% higher.
India's central bank has decided to introduce inflation targeting for the first time. The bank will aim for a 4% inflation target for the 2016/17 fiscal year in an attempt to reduce historically volatile prices in the nation.
European markets were all trading lower after eurozone consumer prices fell for the third consecutive month in February. Though prices fell 0.3% over the month it was less than an expected 0.4% drop. Unemployment was also down for a third straight month, falling to 11.2% in January from 11.3% a month earlier.
Crude oil prices were lower as leaders from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union meet in Brussels to discuss gas and the energy crisis. The talks come amid a cease-fire in Ukraine which has already been flouted. West Texas Intermediate dropped 1.7% to $48.91 a barrel.
Consumer spending dropped in January, missing forecasts. Personal spending fell 0.2% over the month, double expectations of a 0.1% decline. Personal income rose 0.3%, slightly below estimates for a gain of 0.4%.
"From the [Federal Reserve's] perspective, with further weakness in price pressures, the latest inflation report offers no reason to assume inflation has stabilized, let alone is reversing course back toward the committee's longer-term target of 2%," said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza. "Continued pressure on prices will further delay Fed action."
Lumber Liquidators(LL) - Get Report plummeted 25% in premarket trading after a 60 Minutes report found dangerously high chemical levels in some of its Chinese-made goods, linking the company to pricey health and safety violations. Shares have yet to open for trading on Monday, pending a company announcement.
GoPro(GPRO) - Get Report tumbled more than 2% after Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi debuted an action camera. The wearable technology is similar to GoPro's Hero camera but will be sold at half the price.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.