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Overnight Markets: US stocks muster small gains

Starwood Hotels & Resorts shares jumped 4.5% after it agreed to a sweetened $13.6 billion deal with Marriott Monday.

 
Overnight Markets: US stocks muster small gains

US stocks registered small gains on Monday amid a few high-profile mergers and as investors searched for fresh catalysts and grappled with mixed feelings about the US Federal Reserve's dovish move last week.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 28 points, or 0.16%, to 17,630, the S&P 500 had gained three points, or 0.13%, to 2,052 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 13 points, or 0.27%, to 4,809.

US stocks curved slightly higher by the afternoon after opening lower. The market was still digesting the Fed's decision to cut the number of expected rate increases this year to two.

In deal news, Starwood Hotels & Resorts shares jumped 4.5% after it agreed to a sweetened $13.6 billion deal with Marriott Monday, trumping last week’s competing bid from a group led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co.

Sherwin-Williams Co. said on Sunday it has reached a deal to buy paint-industry rival Valspar Corp. for around $8.9 billion. Shares of Valspar shot up 23%, while Sherwin-Williams shares fell 5.3%.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. shares were up 7.1% after it announced the departure of its chief executive and said billionaire investor Bill Ackman had joined its board as it tries to cleans up accounting problems and save its business.

Apple Inc. stock was down 0.2%. The company unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone.

IHS was up 8.6% after the US business research provider said it would buy London-based Markit in an all-stock deal valued at about $5.9 billion. Markit's Nasdaq-listed shares were up 12.13%.

Crude prices edged up as data showed a drawdown at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for US crude and ahead of front-month contract expiry in the US crude futures.

In Asia, share markets were mixed on Tuesday in morning session, with the Nikkei up 2% and Shanghai down 0.2%, after US equities squeezed out gains overnight.

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi was flat. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.23%. Down Under, the ASX 200 index gave up early gains to trade flat.

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