S&P hits 1,500 for first time since 2007

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U.S. stocks meandered between small gains and losses Monday, cooling off after a rally that had pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 index above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007.

Encouraging news about manufacturing provided an early boost, but stocks fell later after a report on the pace of home sales fell short of expectations.Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar moved up $1.87, or 2 percent, at $97.45 after reporting that fourth-quarter net income exceeded analysts' expectations.

Among companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings, Biogen Idec said fourth-quarter net income slipped nearly 3 percent because of a tax charge and higher expenses. Still, the biotech drug maker rose $3.79, or 2.6 percent, to $149.99.

Oil company Hess Inc. was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding 6.1 percent after reporting plans to sell its U.S. terminal network, shutter its New Jersey refinery and continue a shift to exploration and production. Hess rose $3.58 to $62.48. -- The Associated Press

Courtesy: Star Telegram

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