Updated March 29 at 6:27pm
economic activity

U.S. stocks are little changed after 4-week rally amid deals


NEW YORK - U.S. stocks were little changed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed for four straight weeks to an all-time high, as investors weighed corporate acquisitions.

Yahoo! Inc. added 0.9 percent after agreeing to buy blogging network Tumblr Inc. for about $1.1 billion. Actavis Inc. rallied 1.5 percent as it reached a deal to acquire Warner Chilcott Plc.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent to 1,665.36 at 9:32 a.m. in New York.

“The U.S. markets have been running with no real consolidation,” Nick Skiming, who helps manage about $2 billion at Ashburton Ltd. in Jersey, the Channel Islands, said in a phone interview. “We’re relatively optimistic of the markets, notwithstanding the recent rally. But we’re hoping for a bit of a correction, to take a breath to help investors consolidate and build on gains.”

The S&P 500 added 2.1 percent last week, closing at a record, as gauges of leading economic indicators and consumer sentiment beat estimates.

The U.S. bull market has entered its fifth year, adding about $11.5 trillion in market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P 500 has surged 146 percent from a 12-year low in 2009, driven by better-than- estimated corporate earnings and three rounds of bond purchases from the Federal Reserve.

Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said in an interview on CNBC today that the odds favor dialing back purchases. He said he would have started tapering stimulus at the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting.


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