The stock markets in the United States gained driven by corporate acquisition transactions today.

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On the other hand, the equity markets in the Europe declined as the European Central Bank (ECB) started buying bonds under its quantitative easing (QE) program. The markets in the region were also negatively impacted by concerns regarding Greece. European officials stated that new proposals from the Greek government fell short of their expectations.

Last week, the markets were negatively impacted by speculations that the Federal Reserve is close to starting the implementation of interest rate hikes after the Department of Labor reported that the labor market continues to improve. The economy added 295,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate declined to 5.5%, the lowest level since spring 2008.

Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co. told Bloomberg, “The Monday morning news is typically deal related. Two or three today that are somewhat noteworthy. That’s always encouraging — that companies are finding value in other companies. There’s a little better feeling about the world and Europe as far as economic growth and stability.”

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On the other hand, Birinyi Associates president, Laszlo Birinyi commented, “We still see continuous negativity. A lot of people have missed and they’ve been wrong. It’s hard to one day turn around and say ‘I was wrong.’ Ultimately, the market continues to surprise on the upside.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,995.72 (+0.78%)
  • S&P 500- 2,079.43 (+0.39%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,942.44 (+0.31%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,223.82 (+0.52%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,610.28 (-0.20%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,876.47 (-0.51%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,582.11 (+0.27%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 18,790.55 (+0.27%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,123.05 (-0.17%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,537.75 (+1.70%)

Stocks in Focus

Macerich, a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT) gained almost 7% to $92.72 per share after receiving a $22.4 billion buyout proposal from Simon Property Group.

The shares of RTI International Metals surged almost 40% to $38.18 per share after Alcoa agreed to buy the company for $1.5 billion in total enterprise value. The aluminum giant said the deal would boost its value-add, multi-material aerospace portfolio. The stock price of Alcoa declined almost 5% to $13.78 per share.

The stock price of Whiting Petroleum increased nearly 11% to $37.77 per share due to reports that the oil producers engaged the services of a bank to pursue a potential sale of the company.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals rose more than 3% to $205.17 per share after activist investor Bill Ackman disclosed that his firm acquired 16,473,933 shares or 4.9% stake in the company.

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