US STOCKS-Wall St rises at open, S&P 500 near record
* S&P 500 less than 1 percent from record levels
* Hillshire to buy Pinnacle Foods for $6.6 billion
* Ukraine situation remains in focus after referendum
* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 1.2 pct (Updates to market open)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with the Dow hitting another all-time high and the S&P 500 moving within 1 percent of its own record.
Gains were broad, with nine of the 10 primary S&P 500 sectors in positive territory. About 78 percent of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange rose on the day while more than three-fourths of Nasdaq-listed stocks gained.
The advance game despite ongoing geopolitical concerns in the Ukraine after pro-Russian rebels voted in favor of self-rule in eastern regions of the country in a referendum dismissed by Kiev and Western governments as illegal. Separately, the European Union is set to step up pressure on Russia by taking steps to extend sanctions to companies, as well as individuals.
"The vote seemed like a negative, but the violence that many thought would happen didn't, and at this point no news is good news when it comes to Ukraine," said Channing Smith, co-portfolio manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund at Capital Advisors in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Continuación...