The stock market finished close to the unchanged level on Monday, as short-term traders were content to take a pause after solid performance last week. News on the mergers and acquisitions front continued to dominate headlines as investors wait for the beginning of second-quarter earnings season within the next few weeks. Even with some investors playing a waiting game, though, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), and Syngenta (NYSE: SYT) all enjoyed substantial gains today as shareholders saw their prospects as being superior to the overall market's potential.

Source: 3D Systems.

3D Systems jumped more than 7% as investors reevaluated the state of the 3-D printing industry after Friday's assessment of its major players by analyst firm Jefferies. The firm believes that industrial prototype creation has some of the best growth prospects available to 3-D printing companies and identified 3D Systems rival Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) as the best-positioned of the stocks in the sector to benefit from prototyping. Yet even though 3D Systems faces serious competition, it also has dual exposure to both the commercial and the personal market, and that could be a difference-maker as the industry matures. Moreover, most of 3D Systems' peers rose today as well, pointing to general optimism about the broader industry.

Source: Groupon.

Groupon rose about 6% after the daily deals turned e-commerce specialist earned favorable comments from a Wall Street analyst today. Rather than emphasizing its old business model of sending daily deals emails to potential customers, Groupon has instead moved to make its website the focal point of its e-commerce offerings, which include both its old-style daily deals as well as more general marketplace offerings. Groupon's attempts to diversify its offerings have met with skepticism among some who cite the intensely competitive broader e-commerce market. But if Groupon can make the most of its best-in-breed brand-name for daily deals, then the stock could finally start to climb more substantially from its losses in recent years.

Syngenta added 7% as the agricultural specialist gained the attention of M&A-following investors. Monsanto (NYSE:MON) reportedly looked at potentially buying out the ag company, with one of the primary considerations being to take advantage of favorable tax rules that would apply in a tax-inversion strategy given Syngenta's domicile in Switzerland. The report said that the talks aren't ongoing, but shareholders clearly believe that Syngenta's strategic location could entice either Monsanto or other players in the space to make a bid at some point in the future. Increasingly, tax aspects are a key component of M&A activity, and that puts Syngenta and other foreign companies in a commanding position to take advantage.