* Yahoo to buy Tumblr for $1.1 bln, vows not to screw up
* Dow, S&P 500 briefly hit all-time intraday highs
* JA Solar's margin bets pay off, shares surge
* Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P off 0.1 pct; Nasdaq off 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 20 U.S. stocks ended little
changed on Monday, with indexes hovering near record levels as
concerns about a correction cut earlier gains that had been
prompted by news about a flurry of acquisitions.
The Dow and the S&P 500 briefly hit all-time intraday highs.
Early in the session, investors' sentiment was brightened by
a slew of deal news, including Yahoo Inc's acquisition of
Among the day's top gainers were solar companies after
shares of JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd soared following an
unexpected rise in revenue and a quarterly loss that was far
smaller than expected.
Energy stocks were the day's top gainers in the S&P 500
while consumer staples were the biggest underperformers. The S&P
energy sector index rose 1.3 percent. In contrast, the
S&P consumer staples index fell 1 percent.
Earlier, the Dow climbed to an all-time intraday high at
15,391.84, while the S&P 500 edged up to a new intraday record
high at 1,672.84. Both major indexes are up about 17 percent for
the year so far.
"Today is definitely a slow period in terms of news or
economic data, and there isn't a catalyst to really move higher
or lower," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of
Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
"There are people scared by the sharpness and the length of
this rally, which is totally understandable. But there are still
those who are afraid to not invest and miss the rally."
The S&P 500 is up nearly 1,000 points from its low in March
2009. And more than 38 percent of the stocks hit a 52-week high
within the S&P 500 last week - the highest percentage since at
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 19.12
points, or 0.12 percent, to 15,335.28 at the close. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index shed 1.18 points, or 0.07 percent, to
finish at 1,666.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined
2.53 points, or 0.07 percent, to end at 3,496.43.
Earlier, the Nasdaq touched a fresh 52-week intraday high at
Yahoo Inc will buy blogging service Tumblr for $1.1
billion cash, giving the Internet pioneer a much needed social
media platform to reach a younger generation of users and
breathe new life into its ailing brand. Yahoo
shares rose 0.2 percent to $26.58.
Shares of JA Solar jumped 70.4 percent to $9.56. It focus on
margins over volume paid off as the Chinese solar products maker
halved its operating loss in the first quarter by selling more
panels in high-margin Japan.
Other solar companies' shares such as China Sunergy Co Ltd
surged 50 percent to $2.52 and LDK Solar Co Ltd
shot up 20.4 percent to $1.83. Yingli Green Energy Holdings Co
climbed 13.1 percent to $3.10.
In other deal news, Actavis rose 1.3 percent to
$127.15 after the company said it will acquire Warner Chilcott
Plc in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $5
billion. Warner Chilcott gained 2 percent to $19.60.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and Plains
Exploration & Production said they would pay
shareholders more in dividends if they approved Freeport's
roughly $6 billion takeover offer for Plains. Plains shares
leaped 7.4 percent to $48.94, while Freeport's stock gained 0.6
percent to $32.88.
Wall Street got more feedback from the Fed on Monday with
some comments from Charles Evans, the president of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Chicago. Evans said the U.S. Federal Reserve
could keep up its current level of bond-buying stimulus, but
could end it abruptly in the autumn if by then it was sure that
the labor market was on a solid footing.
Investors will get more comments from the Fed when Chairman
Ben Bernanke testifies before a congressional committee on
The beginning of the end of the Fed's massive bond-buying
program, which has given strong support to stock gains, might
come sooner than many investors think if recent gains in the
U.S. labor market hold.
The Fed will also release minutes from its most recent
policy-setting meeting on Wednesday. The minutes will be parsed
for signs of the Fed's direction on monetary stimulus.
Volume was roughly 6 billion shares on the New York Stock
Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, slightly lower than the
year-to-date average daily closing volume of about 6.34 billion.
Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a ratio of 17
to 13. On the Nasdaq, nearly 14 stocks rose for every 11 that