NEW YORK, Oct 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday on positive earnings news and corporate deals, with much of the good news focused on the biotechnology sector, leading the Nasdaq higher.
Data on consumer confidence from the Conference Board later on Tuesday could ease worry about the strength of individuals' spending.
Shares of Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB.O: Quote, Profile, Research) jumped 5.6 percent to $46.31 after the biotechnology company posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street's forecasts. For more details, see [ID:nN31477442]
Shares of Sirna Therapeutics Inc. (RNAI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) nearly doubled to $12.67 on the Nasdaq after drugmaker Merck & Co. (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research) agreed on Monday to acquire the company. [ID:nN30482485]
In other biotechnology news, Celgene Corp. (CELG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 5.6 percent to $52.66 a day after Standard & Poor's said it will replace AmSouth Bancorp (ASO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in its flagship S&P 500 stock index <.SPX> with Celgene after the close of trading on Nov. 3.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 21.37 points, or 0.18 percent, at 12,107.87. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 2.83 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,380.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 9.88 points, or 0.42 percent, at 2,373.65.
Investors will have more clues about the state of the economy when the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago releases September data on Midwest business conditions at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT).