U.S. stocks mostly climbed on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite rebounding from a more than 1 percent drop, as investors turned to large-cap companies while tracking developments in Ukraine, increased deal activity and an ongoing sell-off in social media and other new technology companies.
"The bounce back is really just big-cap leading the way. This is just a big-cap short-covering rally," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, who noted the late-session rebound as the the Dow and S&P 500 hit or breached their 50-day moving averages.
"Everybody is staring at the same screens, the same levels and trading it the same way," Boockvar added.
Reports that Russian troops had returned to their bases from the border with Ukraine after Ukraine said it would not use force also surfaced late in the session, Boockvar said.
Drug manufacturer Pfizer rose after saying it had renewed contact with AstraZeneca on resuming takeover discussions after two prior offers for its British rival failed. General Electric climbed after Germany's Siemens made a competing offer for French engineering firm Alstom. Forest Laboratories said it would acquire Furiex Pharmaceuticals for up to $1.46 billion.
Bank of America shares slid after it revised its previously announced regulatory capital ratios downward and suspended its $4 billion share buyback program and a planned hike in its quarterly dividend.
"We started off very strong on some of the M&A activity, but as the day wore on and the news came out on Bank of America having accounting issues, we had continued weakness carry over from last week in the biotech space, and the buying that we saw this morning just didn't have enough follow through," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners.
"It's a continuation of the theme of selling everything that is high growth, with a lot of the money moving into old technology," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
Tesla Motors, Netflix, Priceline.com and Amazon.com were among the shares being sold, with shares of Netflix hit after Microsoft announced plans to create original programming, joining the field of those competing with Neflix as the provider of online entertainment strives to produce original content.
"The valuations on those are just way high, those names need to come back down to earth," said Paul Nolte, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management.