S&P Closed at 5 Year High

U.S. stocks ended higher on Tuesday, pushing the S&P index to a five-year high, buoyed by talk of more deal-making. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 53.91 points, or 0.39%, to 14,035.67 and the S&P 500 gained 11.15 points, or 0.73%, to 1,530.94. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 21.56 points, or 0.68%, to 3,213.59.

Reports that retailers Office Depot and OfficeMax are discussing a merger came after big corporate deals for Heinz and Dell were announced in recent weeks. Some investors are betting that more deals could be on the way as buyers pay premium prices for publicly traded companies.

Dell Inc on Tuesday reported a 31 percent drop in profit, hurt by a shrinking consumer business, as investors weighed founder Michael Dell’s offer to buy out the world’s No.3 maker of personal computers. Dell posted net income of $530 million, or 30 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue of $14.3 billion.

HTC Corp., the struggling Taiwanese maker of smartphones, is taking a page from longtime partner Microsoft Corp. as it launches a new phone under the One brand. The phone runs Google Inc.’s Android software, but HTC is grafting its own home screen on the phone, one that’s similar to that of Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.

Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) reported fourth-quarter results that topped consensus expectations and raised its 2013 guidance for profit and sales. For the period ended Dec. 31, Herbalife said it earned $117.8 million, or $1.05 a share, up from $105.4 million, or 86 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

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