Dell Inc's stock rose after the world's No. 3 computer maker agreed to be taken private in a $24.4 billion deal, the largest leveraged buyout since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The stock gained 0.9 per cent to $13.39 after a delayed open.
Major stock indexes fell about 1 per cent in Monday's session, pressured by renewed worries over the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis. Still, equities have been strong performers recently, with the benchmark S&P 500 index up about 5 per cent for 2013.
Wall Street has advanced on strong fourth-quarter earnings and signs of improved economic growth, suggesting the market's longer-term trend remains higher.
"For the last couple of weeks, we've been seeing this global divergence where the U.S. market remains powerful but overseas emerging markets are pretty weak," said James Dailey, portfolio manager at TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
"We seem to be in this manic buying period, and people are reluctant to give up the optimism that the market is going to move higher," he added.
Archer Daniels Midland reported revenue and adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations, boosted by strong global demand for oilseeds. Shares rose 4.6 per cent to $29.75.
Estee Lauder Cos Inc gained 7 per cent to $65.34 after reporting results.
According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 53 per cent of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings thus far, 69 per cent have beaten profit expectations, over the 62 per cent average since 1994 and the 65 per cent average over the past four quarters.
Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 4.5 per cent, according to the data, above the 1.9 per cent forecast at the start of earnings season but well below the 9.9 per cent forecast on October 1.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 118.24 points, or 0.85 per cent, at 13,998.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 13.95 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 1,509.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 31.12 points, or 0.99 per cent, at 3,162.29.
The S&P is less than 5 per cent away from its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09, reached in October 2011.
McGraw-Hill extended its Monday decline, slumping 5.4 per cent to $47.55 as the US Justice Department launched a civil lawsuit against the company and its unit, Standard & Poor's, over mortgage bond ratings. The action marks the first such federal action against a credit rating agency related to the financial crisis.
The stock has dropped more than 20 per cent over the past two days.
US shares of BP Plc rose 1.3 per cent to $44.18 after the company reported earnings that beat expectations and said underlying financial momentum would be "strongly evident" by 2014.
The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index was 55.2 in January, as expected and down slightly from the previous month.
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