Energy, IT stocks improve most
The S&P/TSX composite index gained 32.31 points to end Monday at 14,871.21
The Canadian dollar grew
Shares of energy producers climbed, with Suncor Energy surging 1.3% at
The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, gained as Barrick Gold erased 0.6% to
Information technology issues also displayed some muscle, most notably, BlackBerry, which climbed 2.7% to
Health-care issues fared not so well, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals settled 0.8% to
In corporate news, Ritchie Bros Auctioneers jumped 4%, to
On matters economic, Canadian housing starts picked up more than expected in May and the number for April was revised higher.
A report from the
Nine of the 14 Toronto subgroups were higher, as energy stocks charged ahead 0.7%, information technology gained 0.6%, and financials were 0.4% to the good.
The five laggards were weighed mostly by health-care issues, sicker by 0.7%, gold, losing 0.4% of its sheen, and global base metals, fading 0.2%.
Despite the bevy of big deal activity this morning, stocks traded fairly flat into the afternoon.
The Dow gained 18.82 points, to finish the day at 16,943.10; even so, another all-time high for the blue chips.
The S&P 500 added 1.83 points to 1,951.27 – also a new peak for that index -- and the NASDAQ composite index prospered 14.84 points, to 4,336.24
Merck announced earlier this morning that it was going to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals, a hepatitis C drug producer for
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, another hepatitis C drug manufacturer, is up nearly 60%, suggesting it might also be an M&A target. One in 100 Americans has chronic hep C infections, according to the
In other merger news, Tyson Foods announced its plans to acquire Hillshire Brands for
Tyson stock is down about 5.5%, Hillshire stock is up the same amount. Pilgrim's Pride shares are trading just under 6.5% lower.
Hedge fund manager
In response to Icahn's purchases, Family Dollar's board announced this morning a "shareholder rights plan" aimed at preventing a hostile takeover and contingent on someone buying a 10% or greater stake in the company.
Family Dollar shares are up about 14% in afternoon trading. Rival retailer Dollar General is up over 7% as investors consider whether Icahn may push for the two companies to merge. Shares of Dollar Tree are flat after trading as high as 3% higher earlier in the day.
Apple's seven-for-one stock split went into effect today. The tech giant is issuing more shares to existing investors in order to bring down the price of the stock and bring in more retail investors. Apple stock closed at about
Time Inc., the magazine publisher of Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other titles, began its first day of trading after being spun off from TimeWarner. Shares were down about 1.8%.
After a surge in late trading on Friday, K-Cup coffee company Keurig Green Mountain was about 6.5% lower, giving almost all of those gains on lower volume.
Prices for 10-year U.S. Treasuries dropped, raising yields to 2.61% from Friday's 2.60%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions
Oil prices up
Gold prices gained
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