that Getco Holding proposed a $1.4 billion merger with Knight, while Virtu Financial offered to buy Knight for at least $1.1 billion.
Apparel retailer Express Inc rose 8.9 percent to $14.15 after it forecast strong earnings for the current quarter as lower prices and easy-to-understand discounts led to robust Black Friday sales.
The S&P retail index gained 1.4 percent.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters surged 27.3 percent to $36.86 a day after it forecast quarterly and full-year earnings well ahead of analysts' expectations.
Nearly 6.1 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average so far this year of about 6.48 billion shares.
On the NYSE, roughly seven stocks rose for every three that fell, and on Nasdaq, five issues rose for every three that fell.