Major Indexes Sitting Higher at Session's Half; Crude Oil Futures Hit $90


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Stocks are higher at mid-day even though European leaders stopped short of cobbling together a plan during a summit this weekend to deal with the debt problem plaguing the continent. They pledged to meet again on Wednesday. No economic reports due today, but investors were buoyed by corporate earnings reports and deal news.

Among the earnings drivers, Caterpillar ( CAT ) advanced over 5% before backing off after the company reported third earnings of $1.71 per share, above expectations of $1.54 per share and a sharp 40% increase over the $1.22 per share posted in the year ago quarter. Sales and revenue were $15.71 billion, up from $11.13 billion last year and above the analyst consensus of $15 billion on Thomson Reuters. The outlook for 2011 sales and revenues and profit has improved.

Investors also eyed a spate of M&A activity, including acquisition deals between Cigna ( CI ) and HealthSpring ( HS ) and Oracle ( ORCL ) and RightNow Technologies ( RNOW ).

Also, Yahoo (YHOO) is higher following a weekend Wall Street Journal report that Google (GOOG) has approached two private equity firms about assisting in financing a deal to buy Yahoo's core's business.

Asian equities gained sharply Monday. A rebound in a PMI reading shows China's manufacturing sector is back into expansion territory.

In company news,

The J. M. Smucker Company (SJM) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire a majority of the North American foodservice coffee and hot beverage business of Sara Lee (SLE). Terms of the deal call for $350 million to be paid at time of closing, with an additional $50 million paid in declining installments over the next ten years.

Sanofi (SNY) today announced that it has appointed David Meeker as chief executive officer for Genzyme, its wholly owned subsidiary. Meekr will also join SNY's group management committee. Meeker served as Genzyme's chief operating officer beginning in 2009.

NASDAQ OMX Group (NDAQ) is higher after it today announced that it has agreed to acquire Glide Technologies Limited, a London-based software-as-a-service provider specializing in corporate communications and reputation management solutions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shares of SemGroup (SEMG) are up by double-digits after Plains All American Pipeline (PAA) disclosed today that on October 6, 2011 it submitted a proposal to SemGroup to acquire all of the outstanding shares of SemGroup for $24.00 per share in cash.

Commodities are up. December gold contracts are up 1.18% to $1,655 an ounce while December crude oil contacts are up $3.57 to $90.51 a barrel.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 3.16% to $34.92 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.96%, to $8.73.

In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.7% to $160.64. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is up 2.7% to $55.44. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 1.08% to $30.81.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: CAT , CI , HS , ORCL , RNOW

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