Wall Street inched higher on Monday, as gains in Apple and Pfizer helped offset another round of selling in some high-growth tech shares.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87 points or 0.53%, to end at 16,449. The S&P 500 gained six points or 0.32%, to 1,869. The Nasdaq Composite fell one points or 0.03%, to 4,074.
A flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the pharmaceutical sector increased speculation of further deal-making. Pfizer rose 4.2% after the US drugmaker was said to be working on its next move in a potential bid to take over Britain's AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L).
Leading the Nasdaq down was Amazon.com (AMZN.O), which extended Friday's sharp drop a day after its earnings report. The share ended down 2.4%.
Apple's stock surged 3.9%, with the share gaining 13.2% since the close on Wednesday, when the iPhone maker reported results after the bell.
Bank of America shares tumbled 6.3% after the company said it will suspend a planned increase in its quarterly dividend as well as its latest stock-buyback programme because it miscalculated a measure of the capital on its books.
Chinese Internet stocks also declined after China's government ordered the removal of four US television shows from video websites. The US-listed shares of Baidu (BIDU.O) slid 7.4%.
In other M&A activity, Forest Laboratories Inc (FRX.N) said it would buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc (FURX.O) for up to $1.46 billion. Furiex Pharmaceuticals shares surged 28.6% while Forest Laboratories shares shed 0.4%.
Agenus (AGEN.O) shares jumped 19.5% after the biotechnology company said it signed a deal with Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) to discover and develop antibody-based treatments against cancer.
In Asia, shares oscillated between gains and losses on Tuesday as investors weighed corporate earnings and after US equities advanced.
The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index fell 0.1% to 475 as of 9:58 a.m. in Hong Kong, reversing a gain of 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.2% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.1%.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.6%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.4%, while Taiwan’s Taiex index rose 0.6%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.1%. Markets in Japan are closed for a holiday.