News of potential deals buoys stocks
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.