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US STOCKS-Wall Street ticks up as data eases Fed concern
August 26, 2013 / 2:31 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street ticks up as data eases Fed concern

* Amgen, Onyx Pharma shares rise after $10.4 billion deal

* Anadarko shares up after it sells stake in gas field

* Pritzker family to buy TMS International

* Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P 500 up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher in light volume on Monday after a steep drop in orders for long-lasting manufactured goods pushed back expectations the Federal Reserve will soon begin to wind down its economic stimulus.

Durable goods orders recorded their biggest drop in nearly a year in July and a gauge of planned business spending on capital goods tumbled, casting a shadow over the economy early in the third quarter.

The weak data was encouraging to investors because the Federal Reserve has made it clear its decision to slow its $85 billion a month in asset purchases, which has been instrumental to Wall Street’s rally, is dependent on strong economic figures.

“The numbers were disappointing this morning, but maybe we’ve returned to one of those odd situations where bad news is good for the market in terms of the Fed tapering,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

He said, however, the Fed has focused on job market data which has been strong and the market could still face a stimulus tapering soon.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19.58 points or 0.13 percent, to 15,030.09, the S&P 500 gained 3.39 points or 0.2 percent, to 1,666.89 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.135 points or 0.39 percent, to 3,671.927.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit its lowest in a week following the data. A recent spike in yields has affected other financial markets as investors grew concerned the steep rise could drive interest rates on mortgages and consumer credit too high and hurt the economy.

Amgen Inc struck a deal to buy cancer drug maker Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc for about $10.4 billion on Sunday, sweetening its original offer made in June. Onyx shares rose 5.5 percent to $123.52 and Amgen jumped 7.9 percent to $113.95.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel intended to reach out to his British and French counterparts to discuss the situation in Syria after reports of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Damascus, a senior official said. Hagel said the United States would only take action in concert with the international community and within a legal framework.

Washington was all but certain that the government of President Bashar al-Assad had gassed its own people.

“The escalation of U.S. involvement in Syria could be a problem for the market,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. “The S&P 500 is bound to test the 1,635-1,640 level and news out of the Middle East could be the trigger for the market to complete its downward move.”

In other deal news, the Pritzker Organization said it will acquire scrap metal broker TMS International Corp for $17.50 a share, a premium of about 12 percent to TMS’s Friday close of $15.57. shares gained 11.7 percent to $17.39.

Anadarko Petroleum shares rose 2.5 percent to $92.02 after India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp agreed to buy 10 percent in a gas field offshore Mozambique from Anadarko for $2.64 billion.

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