S&P 500 ends just shy of record close; insurers climb
NEW YORK (REUTERS) - United States (US) stocks rose on Monday and the S&P 500 hit a record intraday high, helped by gains in health insurers' shares and optimism about merger activity.
The Nasdaq reached a 14-year high, though all three indexes closed off their highs for the day, with the S&P 500 finishing less than a point away from its record closing high of 1,848.38.
Humana Inc and UnitedHealth Group ranked among the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainers, with Humana's stock jumping 10.6 per cent to $113.69 after it said the government's proposed cuts to the private Medicare program appeared to be less than it had forecast. UnitedHealth shares rose 3 per cent to $76.01.
Aetna Inc rose 2 per cent to close at $71.80 after giving a 2014 earnings outlook.