The uncertainty in Iraq after insurgents took control of the northern part of the country and worries about Ukraine put Wall Street traders in a cautious mood Monday. But an uptick in industrial production and positive manufacturing data out of New York helped offset some of the negativity among investors.
At the end of the day, Wall Street managed to eek out a slight gain with the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rising 5 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gaining 10 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) up 1.5 points.
It was also a merger-heavy Monday with lots of deals announced and that helped some stocks rally.
Covidien (COV), an Irish medical products-maker, agreed to be acquired by U.S. competitor Medtronic (MDT) for $42.9 billion. If the deal gets regulatory approval, Medtronic will relocate its headquarters from the U.S. to Ireland, where it will benefit from that nation's much lower corporate tax rate. Covidien rallied more than 20 percent while Medtronic was lower by 1 percent.
And Williams Cos. (WMB), an energy infrastructure firm that deals mainly with natural gas, is buying Access Midstream Partners (ACMP) for almost $6 billion. Williams closed 18.5 percent higher and Access Midstream was up almost 2 percent.
Other deals to note included: Sandisk's (SNDK) $1.1 billion purchase of flash storage device maker Fusion-io (FIO), and Level 3 Communications' (LVLT) acquisition of Internet service provider TW Telecom (TWTC) for $5.6 billion.
Data showing homebuilder sentiment has risen to its highest level since January gave construction stocks a boost. Lennar (LEN) was up 1.5 percent and PulteGroup (PHM) gained 0.5 percent.
Among other stocks to watch was Yahoo (YHOO), which fell almost 6 percent. The drop was driven by its substantial stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which just reported its revenue growth slowed in the first quarter of this year. But Yahoo's stock has risen 33 percent over the past year. Much of that boost has come from Yahoo's stake in Alibaba, which is gearing up for what could be the largest U.S. initial public offering in history.
Tesla Motors (TSLA) revved higher by almost 9 percent. So far this year, the stock is up 37 percent. It seems investors aren't particularly worried about the recent announcement that the company will open up its patents to use by competitors.
Finally, Goodyear Tire (GT) was on a roll, gaining almost 4 percent after Barron's predicted the stock could rally 50 percent over the next two years thanks to growing demand.
What to Watch Tuesday:
Federal Reserve governors begin a two-day policy-setting meeting in Washington.
At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Labor Department releases the Consumer Price Index for May, and the Commerce Department reports housing starts for May.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements after U.S. markets close:
After Market: Good News at Home Outweighs Foreign Dramas
On one level, this is absolutely true. Real wealth, when not inherited, typically comes from starting your own business, but that is difficult when you have nothing. But too many people assume that they can't make things happen unless they're well-financed. "Most of the millionaires or billionaires I've interviewed over the years have bootstrapped it," Siebold said. "Most start with close to nothing. Of the self-made rich, most started off poor or middle class. They've put it on credit cards or borrowed it from family. It takes ambition, and it takes belief that it can be done. It really starts with the self-belief that it's possible. Most people are taught that it's not really possible for them unless they're blue blood or they went to Harvard or Yale. The mythology doesn't match the facts."
"The implication is that money is not made easily and it doesn't come for nothing, which is true technically," Siebold said. "This belief sets people up to believe money is scarce and difficult to earn, instead of seeing money as abundant and earning it is as easy as solving a problem through persistent, creative thought. Figuratively speaking, money does grow on trees; and the trees are ideas." Put those ideas into practice, and you might be surprised how much money the idea tree can grow.
Siebold called it the "It's the old 'trading time for money' [idea] that we're taught." "The average person believes the only way to make more money is to work more hours." But if you limit making money to selling your time, you're limited to what you can make, because there are only so many hours in a day, week, month or year. "I consult with big corporations," he said. "These are some of the big companies in the world. When I ask audiences, 'What's the best way you can think of in your role to make more money,' they'll say, get an MBA. Even at that level, they're trained to trade time for money. College professors don't have money. Even the ones that teach finance don't have any money. This creates the belief that making money is a linear process directly connected to time. Big money requires thinking about it in non-linear terms."
"The real saying is actually 'the love' of money is the root of all evil, but has been misquoted for centuries that most people believe money itself is the root of all evil," Siebold said. "That's where the church comes in to disempower people to make money. It creates a disempowerment cycle that makes people more reliant ... on institutions. Decide to be proud of your ambition and ignore people who tell you that wanting to be rich is wrong."
"Get your piggy bank out and save your pennies," said Siebold. "This is a very dangerous belief as it put a major emphasis on saving. Saving in itself is not bad, but the masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally that they miss major opportunities. People must reject this nickel and dime thinking and focus their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money." In other words, why save pennies when you could be making dollars?
This is another saying that is true in one sense but misleading in a more important way, according to Siebold. "You don't get rich to get happier; you get rich for the freedom in brings." If you're unhappy with money, being rich won't of itself change that. But you could have "more freedom, more options, more choices." And, as he pointed out, most people have no idea what it's like to live without financial worry. Being less unhappy is certainly a step in the right direction.
"This is usually a harmless phrase when people just want to know what's on your mind, but be careful," Siebold warned. "If overused and it penetrates the subconscious, you'll start giving away your intellectual property for practically nothing. Your IP and unique perspective can potentially be worth millions if packaged properly." Look at the number of famous 20th century musicians who sold their music rights for a figurative song and were left destitute even as music publishers made millions. Compare that to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who kept their rights and built multi-million-dollar fortunes.
"[There's an] idea that there's some kind of nobleness is being poor," Siebold said. A rich man isn't going to go to heaven. I'm not a good person because I'm not ambitious. I don't want to make money so I can be good. It sets [people] up to fail. The masses are programmed from an early age to put the needs of others before their own. There's a reason on a plane to say put your oxygen mask on first. In order to make a lot of money, there is a period of time in the beginning of the wealth building process where you must focus on yourself and your business in order to make it at an uncommon level. Once you acquire wealth, then you can volunteer or give back to charity."