Stocks closed mostly higher Monday in a rocky session as the tech sector cut earlier losses but continued to lag.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87.28 points, or 0.5%, to 16,448.74 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 6.03 points, or 0.3%, to 1,869.43. The Nasdaq composite index, which lagged behind for much of the day, pared earlier losses and closed 1.16 points lower, or 0.04% to 4,074.40.
In a potential blockbuster pharmaceutical deal, shares of AstraZeneca soared 12.2% to $77.01 after Pfizer renewed its push to buy the British drug company for $100 billion. Pfizer rose 4.2% to $32.04.
Bank stocks took a hit as Bank of America fell 6.3% to $14.95 after the company said it would suspend its stock buyback program and dividend increase. The bank discovered an error in how it calculates its capital ratio, a crucial measure of its strength. The Federal Reserve asked the bank to put its buyback and dividend increase on hold until the error was fixed.
Other banks also fell: Shares of Goldman Sachs dropped 1.1% to $156.54; Citigroup fell 0.9% to $47.30 and JPMorgan Chase declined 0.4% to $54.49.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.70%, up from 2.67% Friday.
Tech stocks continued to struggle after Friday's deep losses. On Friday, the Nasdaq composite was pounded, ending down 1.75%, while the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.85% — a 140-point drop — and the Standard & Poor's 500 shed 0.8%.
"The froth is finally burning off in some of these sectors like technology," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial. "Investors want to rely more on fundamentals, and it's hard to justify some of these valuations."
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Escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia combined with some disappointing corporate earnings for last week's unhappy ending. President Obama promised further sanctions against Russia during a press conference in the Philippines, Monday. The economic uncertainty such sanctions carry is unlikely to ease investors' concerns regarding the tumult in Eastern Europe.
"The Ukrainian tensions are once again mounting and the word coming from Capitol Hill and also Europe is that sanctions on Russian officials will be harder, more direct and onerous on President Putin's inner circle; this will disrupt normal trading conditions," Melbourne, Australia-based, IG market strategist Evan Lucas wrote.
Such concerns helped drive down Asian markets, Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 141.03 points, or 1%, to 14,288.23. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 91 points, or 0.4%, to 22,132.53 and the Shanghai composite index fell 33.03 points, or 1.6%, to 22,132.53.
But European benchmarks closed higher. Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.2% to 6,700.16, Germany's DAX finished up 0.5% to 9,446.36 and France's CAC-40 gained 0.4% to 4,460.53.
Contributing: The Associated Press.