NEW YORK (March 14): U.S. stocks ended little changed in light volume on Monday, with traders eyeing a Federal Reserve meeting expected to result in an interest rate increase later this week.
The S&P 500 traded in its tightest range of the year, in and out of slight losses, while the CBOE Volatility index was on track to close at its lowest in more than a week.
Shares of Mobileye jumped nearly 30 percent to a high of $61.51 after chipmaker Intel agreed to buy the driverless technology maker for $15.3 billion. Mobileye closed up 28.2 percent at $60.62 and Intel fell 2.1 percent to $35.16.
Investors looked ahead to the Fed's two-day meeting that starts on Tuesday. Traders saw a 94 percent chance that the U.S. central bank will lift interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday.
"Other than the Fed on Wednesday, I don’t see anything going on to make any (investment) decisions on," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
"Intel buying Mobileye is the story of the day, moving into that market sector," he said, adding that they advised some clients to "fade in" into Intel stocks. "We think this is a very good support point," said Mendelsohn.
Nvidia rose 2.8 percent to $101.85 while Delphi Automotive added 4.0 percent to $80.20. Both are involved in developing technology for cars.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 21.5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,881.48, the S&P 500 gained 0.87 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,373.47 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.06 points, or 0.24 percent, to 5,875.78.
After the bell, U.S.-traded shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals dropped 9.3 percent to $10.98 after investor William Ackman, who had been its biggest cheerleader for two years as the share price climbed and then plummeted, on Monday said his hedge fund had sold its entire position.
During regular trading hours, Citrix Systems jumped 6.8 percent to $84.93 after Bloomberg reported that the cloud-services company is working with advisers to seek potential suitors.
Wynn Resorts gained 4.8 percent to $104.30 after Morgan Stanley reiterated its "buy" rating and said the company could gain a meaningful market share in Macau.
About 6.18 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.93 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.54-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.68-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 48 new lows.
The S&P 500's average true range hit 5.9, its lowest of the year. The year-to-date average of that daily measure of volatility is 14. - Reuters