11:25 AM New York – U.S. stocks extended gains and durable goods orders declined 7.3% in July. Amgen lifted its bid to $10.4 billion for Onyx. DirectEdge and BATS agreed to merge creating the second-largest stock exchange operator in the U.S. Anadarko sold 10% stake in Mozambique oil field to India controlled ONGC.
U.S. stocks traded higher as market indexes extend a rally that started in 2009 and multiples stretch to a multi-decade high.
Durable Goods Orders Drop 7.3%
On the economic front, durable goods orders dropped the most in a year in July after business spending for capital goods declined.
The Commerce Department said orders declined 7.3% in the month after rising 3.9% in June. Volatile orders for aircrafts were lower than expected and orders for electrical equipment and computers were weaker.
Oil in Focus
Oil and energy prices were in focus after tensions in the Middle East rose and the U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reached out to his European counterparts to discuss the situation in Syria.
U.S. and NATO member nations have financed and facilitated the civil war in the nation that has displaced more than one million families.
U.S. Stocks in Review
Anadarko Petroleum increased 3% after the oil explorer agreed to sell 10% stake in Mozambique off-shore oil field to India controlled ONGC for $2.64 billion.
BATS Global Markets and DirectEdge agreed to merge and create a rival to the New York Stock Exchange that will create the second-largest stock exchange.
The deal only highlights the merger trend in exchanges after New York Stock Exchange’s parent agreed to be acquired by IntercontinentalExchange last year.
The merged exchange to be named BATS will control 20.5% of all stock trading in the U.S. followed by 22.5% market share controlled by NYSEEuronext but ahead of 17.5% share held by markets controlled by Nasdaq.
Onyx soared 5% after the maker of drugs for blood cancer agreed to be acquired by Amgen for $125 a share or $10.4 billion. Amgen originally proposed to acquire the company at a lower price in June.
TMS International Corp (TMS
) soared 17% after the steel products outsourcing company agreed to be acquired by Pritzker Organization for $1 billion.