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US stocks fluctuate near record

International

New York - US stocks fluctuated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at a record, as investors considered corporate deals and data showing a manufacturing gauge unexpectedly advanced.

Integrys Energy jumped 15 percent after Wisconsin Energy agreed to pay $5.7 billion for the company.

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The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

Micros Systems rose 3.1 percent as Oracle offered to buy it for a $68 a share.

General Electric was little changed after clinching the $17 billion purchase of Alstom SA’s energy assets, its biggest acquisition ever.

The S&P 500 slid 0.1 percent to 1,960.78 at 9:51 a.m. in New York.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37.82 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,909.26.

The S&P 500 rose 1.4 percent last week, the most in two months, closing at an all-time high of 1,962.87.

The Dow average also ended the week at a record.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said accommodative monetary policy, rising property and equity prices and the improving global economy should lead to above-trend growth.

Yellen emphasised the need to put more Americans back to work and downplayed concerns about asset-price bubbles and incipient inflation.

A Markit Economics report showed a measure of US manufacturing growth rose to 57.5 in June from 56.4 in May.

Economists in a Bloomberg News survey estimated a decline to 56.0.

A reading above 50 signals expansion.

A National Association of Realtors release at 10 a.m. will show that sales of previously-owned US homes climbed to a 4.74 million annualised rate in May from a 4.65 million rate the previous month, according to economist projections.

 

Volatility Index

 

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, the gauge of S&P 500 options prices known as the VIX, rose 3.9 percent to 11.27.

The measure is trading near its lowest level since 2007.

Eight of the 10 main S&P 500 groups retreated today, with phone stocks dropping 0.3 percent to pace declines.

Energy shares advanced 0.3 percent.

Integrys Energy soared 15 percent to $70.15. Wisconsin Energy said it will acquire Integrys for $5.7 billion in cash and stock to nearly double its number of customers and increase revenue.

Micros climbed 3.1 percent to $67.83.

Oracle agreed buy the company for about $4.6 billion as chief executive Larry Ellison seeks to reignite slowing growth by adding software for hotels and restaurants.

Oracle added 0.5 percent to $41.04.

GE slipped 0.2 percent to $26.91.

Chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, approaching 13 years on the job, prevailed over a bid from Siemens AG and initial French opposition.

Buying Alstom’s gas-turbine operations and creating joint ventures in the steam turbine, renewable energy and electrical-transmission businesses will help his push to return GE to its industrial roots.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. rose 3.3 percent to $41.56 as the yoga-clothing maker said it is working to improve its product line and improve value for shareholders. - Bloomberg News

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