U.S. News

The Week on Wall Street: Records All Around

Stocks ended a holiday-shortened week higher on an almost continuous flow of merger news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a weekly gain of 1.2%, rebounding nicely from a 0.4% decline a week earlier, which was its first fall since March.

It took several tries but the S&P 500 finally surpassed its March 2000 record high and ended the week with a gain of 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.2%, the best weekly performance for the tech-heavy index since March.

The markets were closed on Monday in observation of the Memorial Day holiday so those looking forward to Merger Monday had to settle for Takeover Tuesday.

Real estate investment trust Archstone-Smith announced Tuesday morning that it agreed to be acquired for $22.2 billion by a consortium led by real estate holding company Tishman Speyer.

Avaya shares surged 15% following news reports the telecom equipment maker was in talks with a private equity firm regarding a potential deal to sell all or part of the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Stocks closed at new highs on Wednesday as investors were encouraged by the latest Fed minutes. The S&P 500 closed at a record high for the first time in seven years and the Dow and Russell 2000 each carved out fresh highs.

On Thursday, stocks ended mixed but investor morale as the major market indexes ended with strong monthly gains.

The Dow posted a tiny decline of just 5 points but finished up 4.4% for the month, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed higher and ended May with respective gains of 3.4% and 3.0%.

Wachovia said it would acquire A.G. Edwards for $6.8 billion in a cash-and-stock deal which will result in the nation's second largest retail brokerage. Shares of A.G. Edwards gained 14.3% on the news while Wachovia dipped slightly.

Motorola fell 0.5% after the world's second largest wireless handset maker said it plans to shed a further 11% of its employees by the end of the year.

Stocks saw broad gains at midday on Friday, and the Dow and S&P 500 carved out new intraday highs following strong economic data.

Investors responded positively to the May employment report, which showed better-than-expected job growth, and Dell gained following the PC maker's quarterly earnings report released late Thursday.

Peter Kang is a news writer for CNBC.com. He can be reached at peter.kang@nbcuni.com.