By Akane Otani
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended higher on Monday, extending the rally from Friday as investors hoped that Russia's move to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine would ease tensions between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned of a "high probability" that Russia, using the guise of a humanitarian mission, could intervene militarily in Ukraine.
Ukraine has also said that, contrary to Russian reports of de-escalating, Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border.
Investors did not seem fazed by the reports. The Market Vectors Russia Exchange-Traded Fund
"It seems like U.S. investors who are taking a risk on Russian equities don't deem NATO's statement as a legitimate concern," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
Investors with money in Russian equities seem to be "taking Russia's actions at face value, and not interpreting it as a cover for military action," he said.
Gains were broad, with eight of the S&P's 10 primary sector indexes ending higher for the day. Consumer staples shares posted the highest increases as the sector's index <.SPCOMS> gained 0.8 percent, while energy and utilities shares dragged.
Stocks also climbed after the United States continued air strikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq over the weekend and as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed indirect talks mediated by Egypt on Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 16.05 points, or 0.10 percent, to end at 16,569.98, still below its close at the end of 2013. The S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 5.33 points, or 0.28 percent, to finish at 1,936.92. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 30.43 points, or 0.70 percent, to close at 4,401.33.
Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc
The shares of the company's other units - Kinder Morgan Partners
Investors snapped up shares of companies developing potential treatments for the often fatal Ebola virus disease amid growing calls to expedite research funding and drug approvals.
U.S.-listed shares of Canada-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp
Priceline Group Inc
The stock of Chiquita Brands International Inc
About 4.7 billion shares traded on all U.S. platforms, according to BATS exchange data, compared with the five-day average of 6.1 billion.
(This story has been refiled to fix typographical error in paragraph 3 by removing extraneous letter 't' from ETF's name)
(Editing by Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)