12:50 PM New York – U.S. market indexes advanced led by tech stocks. Existing home sales in March declined 0.2% to annual rate of 4.59 million and dropped to the lowest level since July 2012. Novartis announced deals worth $20 billion. Valeant Pharmaceuticals offered $46 billion for Allergan Inc.
Internet and tech stocks led the gainers on Wall Street and earnings momentum gather speed and existing home sales in March were ahead of expectations.
Novartis announced $20 billion worth of deals to overhaul its operations and focus on its oncology businesses and improve profitability.
S&P 500 index increased 11.22 to 1,883.10 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 44.91 to 4,166.37.
Existing home sales in March decreased 0.2% from a year ago month on a seasonally adjusted basis to annual rate of 4.59 million, ahead of expectations of 4.55 million.
Crude oil futures declined 1.5% to $102 a barrel and gold futures decreased 0.1% to 1,288.10 an ounce.
Market indexes in Japan closed down after broader market opened higher and the yen was in focus.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 123.61 or 0.8% to 14,388.77 and the Topix index slid 8.90 to 1,162.50.
The yen closed up 0.2% to 102.53 against the U.S. dollar.
U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive in Tokyo tomorrow and round up the Asian travel with visits to Philippines, South Korea and Malaysia.
Iron ore prices eased on the prospect of new government easing ban on the export of the ore.
European markets broadly advanced with the cross border deals announced by Switzerland based Novartis.
In London trading, FTSE 100 index climbed 1.1% or 72.78 to 6,698.03 and in Frankfurt the DAX index jumped 1.7% or 155.37 to 9,565.08.
In Paris, CAC 40 index increased 1.1% or 47.37 to 4,479.18.
U.S. Stocks in Review
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc
) climbed 3.4% or $4.15 to $130.35 after the pharmaceutical company offered to buy Allergan Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $45.7 billion.
The company said merger offer comprised of $48.30 in cash and 0.83 stock of Valeant share for each on the fully diluted Allergan share.
Shares of Allergan surged 16.2% to $165.
gained 2.4% to 74.70 francs after the Switzerland-based healthcare company agreed to acquire cancer drug business from GlaxoSmithKline Plc for $16 billion.
Novartis will also sell its vaccines business excluding the flu operations to Glaxo for $7.1 billion the company said in a statement today.