* Bernanke appears safe for approval again as Fed chief * Homebuilders fall as December existing home sales slide * Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P 500 up 0.5 pct; Nasdaq up 0.3 pct * For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to close) By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks snapped a three-day slide on Monday as signs that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would win a U.S. Senate vote for a second term helped ease investors’ concerns

* Seeks to lift market share to 20 pct from 17.5 pct * Capex boosted to C$225 mln from C$170 mln in 2009 * Shares up 0.7 pct at C$16.68 (Adds analyst comments) By Scott Anderson TORONTO, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Rona Inc (RON.TO: Quote , Profile , Research ), Canada’s biggest home improvement chain, said on Monday it plans to boost earnings per share by 10 percent to 15 percent over the next two years and bulk up its national presence by adding new stores and bringing some of its other chains under one banner. The Boucherville, Quebec-based company, which has about 700 stores across the country, said during an investor presentation that it would also continue its aggressive growth strategy by looking for further acquisition opportunities

By Soyoung Kim and Bernie Woodall DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.UL: Quote , Profile , Research ) Chairman Ed Whitacre said on Monday he would stay on as chief executive indefinitely, ending an eight-week search for his successor in a move intended to bring stability to the automaker’s turnaround plans. The announcement confirmed what many analysts and GM insiders had expected after Whitacre, 68, announced on December 1 that he would take over as acting CEO from Fritz Henderson, who was ousted after eight months on the job

By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union speech on Wednesday, is expected to signal resolve to tame U.S. budget deficits, which have reached the highest level as a percentage of economic output since World War Two.

* Topics to include economy, jobs, deficit, healthcare * Follows erosion of middle-class support, election loss * Obama outlines child-care credit, other aid measures (Recasts with Gibbs press briefing) By Alister Bull and Caren Bohan WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, concerned by voter anxiety over high unemployment, will use his State of the Union speech on Wednesday to reassure Americans worried about jobs and the economy, aides said. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday that Obama would talk about how to get the economy back onto a firmer footing, boost hiring, tackle the deficit and deliver financial regulation and healthcare reform

By Dena Aubin NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Kraft Foods’ acquisition of Cadbury is expected to trigger the next blockbuster sale in the global corporate bond market as the company refinances an $11.5 billion bridge loan used to temporarily fund the deal. The world’s second-largest food group, Kraft (KFT.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) is expected to have no trouble drawing demand for a bond sale, thanks to its investment-grade ratings, well-known brands and expected benefits from the Cadbury (CBRY.L: Quote , Profile , Research ) merger. “I think the market is going to be very receptive,” said John Atkins, analyst at IDEAglobal in New York.