News of po­ten­tial deals buoys stocks

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - As­so­ci­ated press

Signs of more cor­po­rate deal-mak­ing sent U.S. stocks higher, al­low­ing in­vestors to take their minds off Greece’s debt trou­bles.

In­vestors were also look­ing ahead to Wed­nes­day’s eco­nomic and in­ter­est rate pol­icy up­date from the Fed­eral Re­serve. They’ll be look­ing for hints as to when the cen­tral bank will be­gin rais­ing its key in­ter­est rate af­ter hold­ing it close to zero for more than six years.

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age gained 113.31 points, or 0.6%, to 17,904.48. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex rose 11.86 points, or 0.6%, to 2,096.29. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite rose 25.58 points, or 0.5%, to 5,055.55.

All 10 sec­tors in the S&P 500 in­dex moved higher, with con­sumer sta­ples lead­ing the gains. The sec­tor rose 1.1% but re­mains down 1.4% this year.

Aetna rose 3.3% af­ter the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported that Unit­edHealth Group ap­proached the ri­val health in­surer about a deal. Aetna added $3.96 to $124.97. Unit­edHealth Group gained $2.57, or 2.2%, to $121.55.

Per­rigo rose $7.95, or 4.3%, to $191.25 as traders an­tic­i­pated that a ri­val may ac­quire it. My­lan, a maker of generic drugs, has said it wants to buy the com­pany, but is be­ing tar­geted it­self by Teva Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

On Tues­day, Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries, My­lan’s big­gest share­holder, said that it backed My­lan’s plan to re­main a stand-alone com­pany. Teva has made a $40bil­lion bid for My­lan but wants that com­pany to drop its pur­suit of Per­rigo.

Coty surged 19.3% on news re­ports that the cos­met­ics and fra­grance com­pany has won an auc­tion to buy sev­eral Proc­ter & Gam­ble busi­nesses. Coty gained $5.03 to $31.08.

U.S. home builders broke ground on fewer homes last month, send­ing shares in home builders lower. Mer­itage Homes fell the most, los­ing 59 cents, or 1.3%, to $43.58.

In energy trad­ing, bench­mark U.S. crude rose 45 cents to close at $59.97 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude for Au­gust de­liv­ery, a bench­mark for in­ter­na­tional oil used by many U.S. re­finer­ies, fell 25 cents to close at $63.70 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

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