M&A (Mergers and Asia): Stocks got a boost from two big acquisitions: Koch Industries buying an electronics component maker, and a deal for privately-held Neiman Marcus. In addition, positive economic news from China and Japan suggested that the doldrums in that part of the world are moderating.

HOMEBUILDERS UNITE: A positive outlook from homebuilder Hovnavian Enterprises lifted the shares of all the big homebuilders as investors continued to bet on a housing recovery.

WHAT'S NEXT: Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone on Tuesday.