12:25 PM New York – U.S. market indexes gained and deal news dominated. Merck agreed to acquire Identix Pharmaceuticals, the maker of experimental Hepatitis C drugs for $24.50 a share or about $3.9 billion. Tyson Foods made a binding deal to Hillshire Brands Co. and offered $63 a share in cash valuing the company at $7.8 billion.
U.S. stocks extended gains and deals news dominated trading today.
S&P 500 index increased 2.48 to 1,951.92 and Nasdaq Composite Index increased 11.40 to 4,332.71.
U.S. Stocks in Review
Apple Inc. (AAPL
) increased 0.3% to $92.60 after the stock split 7-for-1 and closed at $645.57 at close on Friday.
Family Dollar Stores, Inc (FDO
) increased $8.68 or 14% after activist investor Carl Icahn and his affiliates acquired 10.7 million shares for about $265 million, according to regulatory filing.
Dollar General Corp (DG
) soared 11% or $6.25 to $64.26 on the speculation that the company may merge with Family Dollar.
Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (IDIX
) surged $16.89 or 233% to $24.12 after Merck agreed to acquire the developer of experimental Hepatitis C drugs for $24.50 a share or about $3.9 billion.
NeuStar Inc. (NSR
) dropped 8% to $24.52 after an internal communication that was inadvertently was posted on the Federal Communications Commission website indicated the government agency may transfer a contract with the company to Ericsson AB.
Tyson Foods, Inc
) after the meat producer offered a binding deal to Hillshire Brands Co. outbidding Pilgrim’s Pride Corp, a unit of Brazilian meat producer JBS SA. Tyson offered $63 a share in cash valuing the company at $7.8 billion.
Tyson had previously offered $50 per share that valued Hillshire at $6.8 billion including $500 million in debt.
European markets traded near a six-year high and bond market yield dropped to a the low in the year after the European Central Bank lowered interest rates to negative.
In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 0.2% or 15.07 to 6,873.28 and in Frankfurt the DAX index edged up 0.08% or 8.09 to 9,995.08.
In Paris, CAC 40 index inched lower 0.40 to 4,580.72.
On the corporate front, Metrovacesa agreed to sell 27% stake in Gecina at €92 per share. Lloyds will sell its 25% shares in TSB. Man Group agreed to acquire the U.S.-based Pine Grove Asset Management. Sanderson net slipped.
Market indexes in Tokyo extended rally to the 12th day and the yen held firm near its 3-month average. Mobile telecom companies were in focus as the industry gears up for flat pricing plans. March quarter GDP estimate was revised higher to 6.7%.
Stocks in Tokyo continued the advance the Topix index extended rally to 12th day and the GDP estimate for the first quarter was revised higher.
The country''s cabinet office said gross domestic product in the March quarter climbed 6.7%, faster than a preliminary estimate of 5.9%.
Business investment surged 7.6% from the earlier quarter revised up from a preliminary estimate of 4.9% increase. Consumer spending was revised higher to 2.2% from the initial estimate of 2.1%.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 46.76 or 0.3% to 15,124 and the broader Topix index edged up 0.21 to 1,234.78.