US STOCKS-Wall St higher as biotechs rally on M&A deals
* M&A deal lifts sentiment; biotech coming off big weekly decline
* UnitedHealth unit to buy Catamaran; Horizon to buy Hyperion
* Housing index rallies after pending home sales data
* Indexes up: Dow 1.5 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 0.8 pct (Updates to midday trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied more than 1 percent on Monday, with biotech stocks among the most active names amid a number of major deals in the space.
The day's gains were broad as major indexes rebounded off a sharp decline last week, a period over which major indexes lost more than 2 percent. All ten primary S&P 500 sectors rose on the day.
Trading could continue to be volatile ahead of earnings season, which will start in earnest in mid-April, as well as before the March payroll report on Friday. Stock markets will be closed for the Good Friday holiday, leaving investors unable to trade on the jobs data until the following week.
There were four major deals in the biotech space, three with billion-dollar-plus price tags. The Nasdaq Biotech index rose 0.6 percent but remains more than 5 percent below a record close earlier this month. The group has recently been under pressure, with the index down 5.2 percent last week in its biggest weekly decline in a year. Continuación...