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After Market: Dow and S&P 500 Rise Toward Big Milestones


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The major averages continued to climb to record highs Monday, and some big milestones are now within sight. The S&P 500 has closed at all-time highs in 10 of the last 13 trading sessions, and it's now just 2½ percent short of the 2,000 level. The The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) is closing in on 17,000. It gained 18 points today, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged nearly 2 points higher, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 14 points.

Tyson Foods (TSN) has won the bidding war for sausage maker Hillshire Brands (HSH), agreeing to pay more than $8.5 billion for the sausage maker. That represents a 70 percent premium over Hillshire's stock price before the bidding began last month. Hillshire gained 5 percent Monday, but Tyson lost 5 percent. Pinnacle Foods (PF), which dropped out of the food fight today, gained about 1½ percent.

Also on the merger front, Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) more than tripled in price after agreeing to be acquired by Merck (MRK). If you look at the Identix chart over the past six months, you'll find it hovered between $5 and $10 a share -- until Monday, when it soared to about $24.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) fell 4 percent on word of that deal. Merck is seen as a much stronger competitor in developing a treatment for Hepatitis C.

And Hittite Microwave (HITT) jumped 28 percent. The maker of integrated circuits agreed to be acquired by Analog Devices (ADI), which gained 5 percent.

Elsewhere, Apple (AAPL) gained 1½ percent after its 7-for-1 stock split took effect. It closed at nearly $94 a share.

Family Dollar (FDO) Stores rallied 13 percent on news that investor Carl Icahn had purchased a 9.4 percent stake in the company. That prompted Family Dollar to adopt what's known as a "poison pill" plan, setting a 10 percent threshold for investors.

Rival discounter Dollar General (DG) jumped 7 percent on the Icahn news.

And Time Inc. (TIME) fell nearly 1 percent on its first day trading as an independent company after being spun off by Time Warner. There's concern that the company is saddled with debt and magazine titles that are shrinking, not growing.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • At 10 a.m. Eastern time, The Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for April, and the Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for April.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Burlington Stores (BURL)
  • RadioShack (RSH)
  • Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA)
  • United Natural Foods (UNFI)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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