Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register to get unlimited access to all of Citywire’s Fund Manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

Overnight Markets: US stocks rise amid merger activity

Overnight Markets: US stocks rise amid merger activity

Wall Street gained on Monday, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 ending at record highs again, as small-cap shares rallied with more deal news raising enthusiasm for stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19 points or 0.11%, to 16,943. The S&P 500 gained two points or 0.09%, to 1,951. The Nasdaq Composite added 15 points or 0.34%, to 4,336. It was a fourth straight record closing high for the S&P 500 and a third for the Dow.

Monday's merger activity prompted investors to buy some stocks. Merck & Co (MRK.N) said it has agreed to buy Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (IDIX.O) in a deal valued at about $3.85 billion.

In other deal news, Analog Devices Inc (ADI.O) said it would buy Hittite Microwave Corp (HITT.O) in a deal valued at $2 billion.

Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) prevailed over Pilgrim's Pride Corp (PPC.O) in a bidding war over Hillshire Brands Co (HSH.N), offering to buy the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages for $8.55 billion, including debt.

Shares of Idenix, which has three drugs in development to treat hepatitis C, soared 229% on heavy volume. In contrast, Gilead Sciences (GILD.O) the maker of the market-leading hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi, fell 4.1%.

Hittite shot up 28.6%, while Hillshire added 5.3%. Merck, a Dow component, edged up 0.2%. Analog gained 5% and Tyson slid 6.5%.

International Game Technology (IGT.N) shares surged late in the session after Reuters reported the slot machine maker is working with Morgan Stanley to explore a sale. The stock jumped 14.4%.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) was the Nasdaq's most-active stock, rising 1.6% in heavy volume.

In Asia, shares advanced on Tuesday in morning trade after US shares climbed to a fresh record and China reported inflation quickened last month.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent to 143.67 as of 9:57 a.m. in Hong Kong. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%. Japan’s Topix index fluctuated between gains and losses, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index, New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.1%.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Brett Williams is best known for helping to build some of the biggest platforms in the IFA market.He made the move over to wealth management to head SEI’s UK business earlier this year in the belief that this is where the best opportunities now lie.

Wealth Manager on Twitter