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Market Update

Mergers Dominate Wall Street Trading, Durable Goods Orders Rise in April

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:03 PM ET May 27 2014

12:30 PM New York – Stocks on Wall Street opened higher and Pilgrim’s Pride offered $6.4 billion in an unsolicited takeover bid. Pfizer terminated its AstraZeneca offer. U.S. durable goods orders gained in April, fourth monthly increase in a row. The newly appointed Prime Minister of India forms a smaller government.

Stocks opened higher on Wall Street and popular indexes extended gains for the fourth day in a row.

Investors have been watching developments in India, Russia, Ukraine, Thailand and Vietnam.

Billionaire Petro Poroshenko won Ukrainian presidential election with 54% majority, the Central Elections Commission reported Monday.

The “Chocolate King” is known for his pro-European Union views and his closest challenger Yulia Tymoshenko conceded elections after exit polls showed her trailing with 13% of votes.

In India, Prime Minister Narendara Modi took over the government and appointed one of the smallest contingent of ministers and appointed Arun Jaitley as the next finance and defense minister.

On Wall Street, S&P 500 index increased 8.42 to 1,909.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 37.04 or 0.9% to 4,222.85.

Durable goods orders increased in April, the third monthly increase in a row.

The Commerce Department said in a report released today orders for goods increased 0.8% following 3.6% increase in the previous month.

Merger Monday

Hilshire Brands Co received an unsolicited offer for $6.4 billion from JBS SA’s unit Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

Pilgrim’s Pride offered $45 a share in cash and said after the merger the company will have total sales of $12.4 billion.

In a separate merger news, Pfizer abandoned its efforts to acquire AstraZeneca Plc.

European Markets

European markets extended gains for the second week in a row after European Central Bank’s President Mario Draghi raised expectations of another round of stimulus of inflation stays below expectations in June.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index increased 0.5% or 34.42 to 6,850.17 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 0.4% or 43.64 to 9,936.46.

In Paris, CAC 40 index rose 0.2% or 6.77 to 4,533.70.

Accor SA increased 1.1% to €37.97 after the France-based hotel operator agreed to acquire approx 100 hotels in Germany and the Netherlands for €900 million or $1.23 billion that it had previously sold and leased back to free up capital.

AstraZeneca Plc dropped 2.1% to 4,236 pence after the U.K.-based biopharmaceutical company said in a statement that Pfizer does not intend to make an offer.

Asian Markets

In the afternoon trading, stocks in Tokyo pared gains of the session and investors focused on domestic earnings and developments in Europe.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc