Stocks rose on a deluge of corporate merger news. The Dow closed up 77 points to finish at 18,223. Trading volume was lower as stocks seem to be content to mark time within a narrow range as we head into the election. Tech stocks led markets higher thanks to earnings and a boost in target prices by analysts for Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.
Merger Monday could be characterized today as “mega merger Monday” with several companies heading to the alter to get hitched. The Biggest on the list was AT&T offering to pay $85 billion for Time Warner. The move was made by AT&T because they are after “content” for their DirectTV platform and mobile information systems. AT&T also reported flat Q3 earnings and a decline in revenue. Shares were lower on the day as uncertainty surrounding the regulatory hurdles of the merger seem fairly significant.
In other merger news airplane parts supplier Rockwell Collins is buying B/E Aerospace for $6.4 Billion. TD Ameritrade is buying Scott Trade for $4 billion and China OceanWide is buying US insurance company Genworth for $2.7 billion. The M&A lawyers and bean counters have been busy!
Oil today was off a drop to close at $50 and change. Gold fell $3 per ounce to close at $1,264.