Stocks rose for a third straight day on Monday after Google and two other companies announced acquisitions and Japan said its economy was stronger than expected following the March earthquake.The return of “Merger on Monday” on Wall Street temporarily helped ease worries about the US economy. A report showed that manufacturing in New York has worsened in August for the third straight month.About 30 minutes after trading began, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 115 points, or 1 per cent, to 11,385. The S&P 500 index rose 13, or 1.2 per cent, to 1,193. The Nasdaq composite index rose 23, or 1 per cent, to 2,532.The biggest deal announced on Monday was Google Inc.’s $12.5 billion cash purchase of wireless phone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. It is also the biggest acquisition in Google’s history. No. 2 is its $3.2 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2008. Motorola Mobility’s stock jumped per cent 56 per cent. Google fell 0.7 per cent.
Time Warner Cable Inc. said it will pay $3 billion in cash for Insight Communications Co., which has more than 750,000 cable customers in the Midwest. In the energy industry, offshore driller Transocean Ltd. said it will buy Aker Drilling of Norway for $1.43 billion in cash.Companies across the United States have a record amount of cash that they have accumulated since the recession ended. They have increased their cash reserves every quarter for more than two years, and businesses in the S&P 500 index had a total of $963.3 billion at the end of March, according to the most recent data from Standard & Poor’s.
Investors have been waiting for them to use some of that cash on acquisitions, dividend increases and stock buybacks. Many financial analysts believe that companies are more confident about the future if they’re willing to buy other businesses. So a series of acquisition announcements tends to send stocks higher.
The growing cash hoard has been the result of stronger profits. Companies have kept costs low by being slow to hire. Revenue, meanwhile, is growing, particularly from overseas customers. For the 460 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported second-quarter results, total earnings are up 12 per cent from a year ago.
Some companies are looking to pare back. Bank of America Corporation said it will sell its $8.6 billion Canadian credit-card business to TD Bank Group. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank will also get out of the credit card business in Britain and Ireland. The deals follow others that the bank made to move out of foreign credit cards, and they should help Bank of America improve its balance sheet Bank of America rose 2.8 per cent.
From / Gulf Today