The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

February 24, 2014

Stocks return to record territory after deal news

NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor's 500 index pushed back into record territory Monday after the latest round of corporate dealmaking made investors more confident.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 rose 22 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,858 as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern time, ten points above its record high close of 1,848 reached on Jan. 15. The index had slumped since then as investors grew worried about slowing growth in the U.S. and China, as well as emerging markets like Argentina.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 189 points, or 1.2 percent, to 16,258 and the Nasdaq composite rose 41 points, or 1 percent, to 4,304.

SUIT SAGA: Jos. A. Bank rose $4.56, or 8 percent, to $59.61 after Men's Wearhouse increased its offer for the clothing retailer by 10 percent. Men's Wearhouse rose $3.80, or 8 percent, $48.91.

ICAHN'S LATEST TARGET: eBay rose $1.85, or 3 percent, to $56.45 after the activist shareholder Carl Icahn disclosed a 2 percent stake in the company. Icahn is looking to replace several members of eBay's board of directors.

THE CHIPS ARE UP: RF Micro Devices jumped 92 cents, or 16 percent, to $6.72 after the chipmaker said it was combining with TriQuint Semiconductor in an all-stock deal valued at about $1.56 billion. TriQuint soared $1.97, or 21 percent, to $11.20.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL (OR SEVERAL): M&A has taken off this year, particularly in the last couple weeks. Last week, Forest Laboratories and Actavis announced a $25 billion merger and Facebook announced it was buying WhatsApp for $19 billion. That's on top of the RF Micro Devices-TriQuint and Signet Jewelers-Zale's deals announced in the past week.

STREAMING DEAL: Netflix and Comcast reached an agreement to ensure that the online video service's TV shows and movies are streamed smoothly. No details were released about the cost to Netflix. Comcast gained 68 cents, or 1 percent, to $51.73 and Netflix was up $8.54, or 2 percent, to $440.33.

LATER THIS WEEK: Investors had little in the way of corporate earnings or economic data to sort through Monday. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Investors will also get several economic reports this week, including durable goods orders and U.S. fourth-quarter gross domestic product.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: Government bond prices were flat. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged from Friday at 2.74 percent. The price of oil rose 92 cents to $103.12 a barrel. Gold increased $14.70 to $1,338.30 an ounce.

 

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