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US stocks rise as Marriott sweetens Starwood bid

Mar 22 2016 07:47

New York - Wall Street stocks notched modest gains on Monday as merger news, including another twist in the takeover battle for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, lifted the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 21.57 points (0.12%) at 17 623.87.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.02 (0.10%) to 2 051.60, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 13.23 (0.28%) at 4 808.87.

Marriott International improved its cash-and-stock offer for Starwood by more than $1bn, to $13.6bn, in response to a $13.2bn offer from a consortium led by China's Anbang that last week looked poised to carry the day.

On Monday, Starwood said it no longer viewed the Anbang bid as "superior," ending talks with Anbang and its partners. Starwood jumped 4.5%, while Marriott dipped 1.2%.

Paint company Valspar surged 23.1% on news it agreed to be acquired by rival Sherwin-Williams for $11.3bn. Sherwin-Williams lost 5.3%.

Research and analytics company IHS rose 10.3% and British financial data company Markit jumped 13.6 % after the companies agreed to merge to create a company with a market value of $13bn. The combined company, to be controlled by IHS, would be based in London.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International gained 7.4% as it announced that chief executive Michael Pearson would step down and leave the company once a new leader is picked. Valeant shares plummeted last week after the company warned of a potential debt default.

Apple was unchanged after it unveiled new smaller-sized iPhones and iPads at a low-key product launch ahead of a high-profile court battle on Tuesday with the US government on encryption and data protection.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook spoke of the company's "obligation" to protect customer data and privacy.

equities  |  markets  |  us stocks
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