(Updates to late morning trade)
* Forest Labs to buy Furiex for up to $1.46 bln
* Pfizer works on next move in takeover bid for Astrazeneca
* Obama announces new U.S. sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct; S&P 0.5 pct; Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, April 28 U.S. stocks rose on Monday,
rebounding from the previous session's decline, amid a flurry of
merger and acquisition activity in the pharmaceutical sector.
Pharmaceuticals outperformed other sectors after U.S.
drugmaker Pfizer Inc was said to be working on its next
move in a potential $100 billion bid to take over Britain's
AstraZeneca Plc, after two earlier bids were rejected.
Pfizer was the biggest gainer on the Dow Jones industrial
average, up 3.9 percent at $31.94.
Separately, Forest Laboratories Inc said it would
buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc for up to $1.46 billion,
including milestone payments to access Furiex's promising
treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
Furiex Pharmaceuticals shares jumped 30 percent to $104.12
while Forest Laboratories shares were up 0.4 percent at $90.27.
Adding optimism about the economy, data showed contracts to
buy previously owned U.S. homes rose in March for the first time
in nine months, in the latest sign that the housing market was
stabilizing after a recent wobble.
"Clearly investors are shifting focus to the rich economic
calendar we have this week and other events like the FOMC
meeting and away from geopolitical concerns," said Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced new
sanctions against some Russians to stop President Vladimir Putin
from fomenting a rebellion in eastern Ukraine, but said he was
holding broader measures against Russia's economy "in reserve."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 110.08 points,
or 0.67 percent, to 16,471.54, the S&P 500 gained 8.48
points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,871.88 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 12.654 points, or 0.31 percent, to 4,088.215.
On the benchmark S&P index, financial stocks were among the
worst performers, with the sector down 0.2 percent. Bank
of America shares were down 4.6 percent at $15.22 while Goldman
Sachs fell 0.9 percent to $156.81.
Bank of America Corp said it would suspend a $4
billion stock buyback program and a planned increase in its
quarterly dividend after it miscalculated the treatment of
certain structured notes related to its acquisition of Merrill
Lynch in 2009. The company also said it would resubmit its 2014
capital plan to the Federal Reserve.
On the Nasdaq, Amazon.com Inc was one of the
biggest losers, extending Friday's sharp decline following its
earnings statement. The stock was off 2.2 percent at $296.90.
Netflix Inc was down 2.5 percent at $313.98.
Comcast Corp offered to sell 1.4 million pay TV
subscribers to Charter Communications Inc for $7.3
billion as part of a transaction aimed at winning regulatory
approval for its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner
Charter Communications shares rose 7.3 percent to $139.56
after the company also reported a 15 percent jump in
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)