US STOCKS-Wall St slightly higher as Tesla lifts tech-heavy Nasdaq

martes 18 de febrero de 2014 13:06 GYT

* U.S. home builder sentiment plunges in Feb -NAHB

* Forest Labs surges after Actavis confirms acquisition

* Tesla shares hit all-time intraday high

* Indexes: Dow flat, S&P up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.7 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were slightly higher on Tuesday after Wall Street's biggest gain of the year, boosted by Tesla shares which hit an all-time high, giving a lift to the tech-heavy Nasdaq index.

Economic reports were disappointing. U.S. homebuilder confidence suffered its largest one-month drop ever in February, and the New York Federal Reserve's gauge of manufacturing showing weaker-than-expected reading, but investors quickly shifted focus to more market-positive news in mergers and acquisitions.

"Much of the recent concern over the health of the U.S. economy has been explained at the hands of the weather," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Shares of Forest Laboratories Inc rocketed nearly 30 percent after Actavis said it would acquire the specialty pharmaceuticals company in a massive cash and stock deal valued at about $25 billion.   Continuación...