U.S. stocks were modestly higher on Monday following confirmation that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces.

Crude oil fell 0.4 percent while Brent crude was off 0.6 percent, but regained most of their earlier losses, reflecting a perception that while geopolitical risks could ease after bin Laden's death, it wouldn't resolve tensions in the Middle East.

Markets have been buffeted in recent months as tensions in the oil-producing Middle East region sparked concerns about the risk to supplies and the global economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 30.92 points, or 0.24 percent, at 12,841.46. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 3.04 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,366.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> edged up 3.68 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,877.22.

Merger and acquisition activity added to the market's positive tone. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd plans to buy Cephalon Inc for $6.8 billion, while Community Health Systems Inc raised its bid for Tenet Healthcare Corp by $1.75 per share to $7.25.

U.S.-listed shares of Teva rose 3 percent to $47.17, while Cephalon gained 5.1 percent to $80.97.

Tenet fell about 5 percent to $6.59.

In addition, Arch Coal Inc plans to buy International Coal Group Inc for $3.4 billion. Arch rose 0.7 percent to $34.54, while International Coal soared 30 percent to $14.39 and was the most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

Economic indicators on tap included March construction spending data and the Institute for Supply Management's April manufacturing report, which is seen dropping to 59.9 from 61.2 a month earlier. Both datapoints are due at 10:00 a.m. EST.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)