US stocks close mixed; S&P at new all-time high



US stocks closed mixed Monday, with banking giant Bank of America advancing strongly on news of a key mortgage securities settlement.

The broad-based S&P 500 edged to a new all-time closing high, rising 3.08 (0.19 percent) to 1,617.50.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 5.07 (0.03 percent) to 14,968.89. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 14.34 (0.42 percent) to 3,392.97.

Trading was subdued amid a lack US economic data, a sharp contrast to Friday when a strong April jobs report drove major gains in the leading indices.

Stocks also got an upward boost from fresh comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who said the ECB could take additional steps if economic conditions warrant, said Peter Cardillo of Rockwell Global Capital. The ECB last week cut its benchmark interest rate to boost growth in the recession-mired eurozone.

On the corporate front, Bank of America and MBIA announced an agreement to settle a dispute over mortgage-backed securities, with BoA set to pay $1.7 billion to the insurer. The agreement, which requires approval by authorities, would remove a cloud of legal uncertainty surrounding the firms.

Bank of America gained 5.2 percent; MBIA soared 45.4 percent.
Meat processor Tyson Foods sank 3.4 percent after missing earnings forecasts by nine cents per share. The company said it withstood "adverse" seasonal conditions in its fiscal second quarter and looked forward to a better performance in the second half of the year.
Food service company Sysco Corporation gave up 1.0 percent after missing earnings forecasts by three cents per share. Chief executive Bill DeLaney cited "economic and weather related headwinds."

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP rose 3.6 percent while Inergy LP rose 7.9 percent after the two firms announced a $7 billion merger. The two companies, which specialize in natural gas storage and processing, said the merger would take advantage of new opportunities with the natural gas shale boom.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.77 percent from 1.75 percent late Friday, while the yield on the 30-year bond increased to 2.99 percent from 2.97 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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