Stocks advanced Monday after a better-than-expected reading on the service sector. Plus, investors did some bargain hunting after a two-week decline.
The Institute for Supply Management reported its gauge of service-sector activity, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, rose to 50.9 in September from 48.4 in August. The reading indicates expansion in the sector after 11 straight months of contraction and was better than the 50 economists had expected.
Brocade Communications shares soared following news that data-equipment storage maker is putting itself up for sale. The Wall Street Journal identified Oracle and Hewlett-Packard as possible bidders.
In other deal news, Fordmay have another interested buyerfor Volvo, with the Financial Times reporting that A U.S. led consortium may challenge China's Geely Automotive in bidding for the unit. The consortium is led by former Ford director Michael Dingman and former auto executive Shamel Rushwin.
Goldman Sachs shares gained a day after a report said the company would be due a $1 billion paymentshould CIT Group file for bankruptcy. The money would come from a financing package Goldman gave the commercial mortgage giant in June 2008, according to the Financial Times.
Bank of America advanced following a CNBC report that the company likely would be selecting a successor very soonfor departing CEO Ken Lewis.