Stocks gain, pushing market to record levels

STEVE ROTHWELL AP Markets Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks rose on Monday, pushing U.S. market indexes to all-time highs, as investors bought some of the unloved stocks that have been slumping in recent weeks. Pinnacle Foods jumped after the company said it would be acquired by Hillshire Brands.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,894 as of 2:45 p.m. The index closed at an all-time high of 1,890 on April 2. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 111 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,682. The Dow closed at a record high on Friday of 16,583. The Nasdaq climbed 65 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,137.

BARGAIN HUNTING: Some areas of the market that had slumped in recent weeks gained on Monday. Facebook rose $2.01, or 3.5 percent, to $59.23. The stock is still down 18 percent since March 10, after investors started dumping high-growth stocks. Twitter, another stock that has been beaten down recently, rose $1.78, or 5.6 percent, to $33.52. The social media company's stock is still down 47 percent this year.

SMALL STOCK REVIVAL: The Russell 2000 index, which is made up of small company stocks, rose 2.1 percent, its biggest gain in two months. The index slumped almost 10 percent from March 4 to May 9 as investors sold riskier stocks in favor of big, less volatile stocks that also pay rich dividends.

GOBBLED UP: Pinnacle Foods surged $4.06, or 13.4 percent, to $34.52 after the company agreed to be acquired by Hillshire Brands. Pinnacle's brands include Duncan Hines and Aunt Jemima, while Hillshire makes Jimmy Dean and Sara Lee products. Hillshire fell $1.97, or 5.3 percent, to $34.98.

EUROPEAN CONSOLDATION: Twenty-First Century Fox rose $1.04, or 3 percent, to $35.18 following reports that the company is seeking to consolidate its European satellite television business.

THE QUOTE: A backdrop of an improving economy and low interest rates should favor stocks in the long run, said Gerry Paul, chief investment officer of U.S. value equities at AllianceBernstein.

"We've taken a temporary pause in the confidence that was pushing the market forward," Paul said. "But the fundamentals will ultimately bear out and bring people back in."

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: U.S. government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.66 percent from 2.63 percent late Friday. The price of oil rose 60 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $100.59 a barrel.