The Standard & Poor' 500 index started 2015 by climbing for a ninth consecutive quarter. The broad market index rose another 0.4 percent to extend its bull-market run. That's just a fraction of its average quarterly gain of 4.7 percent since the beginning of 2013.
Mergers and acquisitions helped shares of Hospira and Kraft Foods lead the S&P 500. Struggling flash-memory maker SanDisk finished in the bottom slot.