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US stocks rebound as Ukraine fears ease; Dow up 1.1%

US stocks rebounded on Monday (Aug 18) from last week's Ukraine-linked setback as fears of a clash with Russia ebbed, with the Dow surging 1.1 percent and Nasdaq reaching a 14-year high.

NEW YORK: US stocks rebounded on Monday (Aug 18) from last week's Ukraine-linked setback as fears of a clash with Russia ebbed, with the Dow surging 1.1 percent and Nasdaq reaching a 14-year high. Markets also got a spark from a brewing bidding war over the discount retail sector by the three "Dollar" chains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 175.83 points (1.06 percent) at 16,838.74. The broad-based S&P 500 added 16.68 points (0.85 percent) at 1,971.74, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 43.39 points (0.97 percent) to 4,508.31.

The Dow had led a sell-off on Friday amid worries of a looming clash between Russian and Ukraine forces. But tensions fell back after the two sides held talks on the weekend, and investors pushed back into the Dow's blue chips.

The Nasdaq gauge moved to its highest level since March 31, 2000, when the market was beginning a nearly 4,000 point crash as the tech bubble burst. Monday's gains took the tech-heavy index within 540 points of the all-time closing high on March 10 of that year.

Leading the Dow higher were Boeing (+1.5 percent), General Electric (+1.7 percent), Nike (+1.8 percent) and United Technologies (+2.3 percent).

On the Nasdaq, among leading gainers were American Airlines (+3.8 percent), Yahoo (+2.5 percent), Google (+1.5 percent), and Facebook (+1.3 percent).

Family Dollar was in play again just weeks after signing a deal to be taken over by Dollar Tree. Rival Dollar General made a counter-offer worth US$9.7 billion (S$12.1 billion), or US$78.50 (S$97.71) a share, US$4 (S$4.97) more than Family Dollar's. Family Dollar shares gained 4.9 percent to $79.81 (S$99.34), while Dollar General was up 11.6 percent and Dollar Tree fell 2.4 percent.

Monster Beverage gave up 5.4 percent, just a part of the 30.5 percent gain it made Friday after Coca-Cola announced the US$2.15 billion (S$2.67 billion) purchase of a nearly 17 percent stake in the energy drink company.

Big banana company Chiquita Brands rose 1.9 percent to US$13.89 (S$17.29) after the two Brazilian firms seeking to buy the company and block its merger with European banana king Fyffes urged shareholders to back their bid, initially set at US$13 (S$16.18). Chiquita's board last week rejected the bid by the Safra and Cutrale groups as undervaluing the company.

Bond prices sagged. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.39 percent from to 2.35 percent late Friday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.19 percent from 3.14 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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