US stocks move up slightly

Dow gains 21 points, while S&P and Nasdaq also rise. BestBuy stock soars on buyout offer, while Knight Capital loses a quarter of its value, despite $400 million in financing. 

By , AP Business Writer

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    In this file photo last week, specialist Peter Giacchi looks at the price of Knight at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Knight Capital announced Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, that investors have agreed to supply it with $400 million in financing, which would help the trading firm stay in business after last week's disastrous software glitch that shook US stock trading and jeopardized its future.
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U.S. stocks edged higher on a day marked by uncharacteristic quiet following a turbulent week.

In the absence of major economic news, stocks were riding a tailwind of optimism from the most recent U.S. job numbers released last week and hope for more action by European authorities to address that region's debt crisis.

On Monday, beleaguered stock trading company Knight Capital Group said it has lined up $400 million in financing that will allow the firm to continue to operate. Knight was fighting for survival after a disastrous software glitch in its systems sent the trading of dozens of stocks into chaos last week.

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Best Buy's stock soared after its founder offered to buy the company.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 21.34 points at 13,117.51. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index added 3.24 points to 1,394.23. The index came within half a point of 1,400, where it hasn't traded since May 3.

The Nasdaq index rose 22.01 points to 2,989.91.

Markets fell the first four days of last week after investors were disappointed by the lack of specific action from central banks in Europe and the U.S. to support the economy. The Dow lost 197 points from Monday through Thursday.

The Dow soared 217 points on Friday, however, following a surprisingly strong jobs report. The U.S. economy generated 163,000 jobs last month, the fastest pace since February and far more than economists were expecting.

The upturn was seen as a sign that the U.S. may be resilient enough to pull out of a midyear slump and grow modestly, even as the rest of the world slows down. Investors drove markets higher Monday on hopes that the positive momentum will continue.

Stock indexes also rose in Europe. Speculation has been building that the European Central Bank will support struggling countries like Spain and Italy by buying bonds issued by those governments.

Germany's DAX and the CAC-40 in France both rose a little less than 1 percent. Spain's IBEX 35 soared 4.4 percent despite a five-hour blackout from a technical problem that halted trading for much of the day.

"Mutual fund managers and hedge funds have sizable holdings in cash and they need to put those to work," said Richard Cripps, chief investment officer for Stifel Financial. "There's optimism over the progress made in Europe and also constructive news from the U.S. economy."

Knight Capital's stock fell 98 cents, or 24 percent, to $3.07 Monday. It's down 70 percent since last Tuesday, the day before a software malfunction caused its computer systems to send erroneous orders flooding into the market.

Knight said a group of investors agreed to buy $400 million of preferred stock that can be converted into a 73 percent stake in the firm.

Knight takes orders for stock trades from brokers like TD Ameritrade and E-Trade and banks. It then routes them to the exchanges where stocks are traded, like the New York Stock Exchange. Its future was thrown into doubt after the trading malfunction cost the firm $440 million.

Going in the opposite direction was Best Buy Co., which jumped 13 percent after founder and former CEO Richard Schulze offered to buy the company at a premium to its stock price. Schulze, 71, is its largest shareholder with a 20 percent stake.

Among other stocks making big moves:

Cognizant Technology Solutions jumped $6.34, or 11 percent, to $64.21 after the consulting company's second-quarter results beat Wall Street's estimates. The company raised its full-year earnings forecast.

— The Interpublic Group fell 86 cents, or 8 percent, to $10.11 after rival Publicis Groupe of France shot down a report that it was weighing a bid to buy the American advertising company.

Tyson Foods fell $1.23, or 8 percent, to $14.17 after the nation's biggest meat company reported that income dropped 61 percent in the quarter partly due to lower U.S. consumer demand for chicken and beef.

Pluristem Therapeutics climbed 49 cents, or 15 percent, to $3.80. The Israeli drugmaker said a cancer patient's life was saved with the use of certain cells it had developed.

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