Closing Update: Stocks String Together 3 Straight Wins, Commodities Gain

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 |  Includes: AIG, AIG.PA, AMGN, ATHR, CBY, COST, CYTR, DTEGY, FACT, FRFHF, GE, HLCSQ, ITLN, LVS, MDLZ, NVMI, OPXA, ORH, OSIR, SFD
by: Midnight Trader

Sep 8, 2009

-NYSE up 88.9 (1.3%) to 6,726.06.

-DJIA up 56.07 (0.6%) to 9,497.

-S&P 500 up 9 (0.9%) to 1,025.

-Nasdaq up 18.9 (0.9%) to 2,038.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng up 2.14%

Nikkei up 0.7%

FTSE up 0.32%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) GE gets analyst upgrade.

(+) LVS completes pre-IPO financing.

(+) FACT rejects Biogen Idec bid.

(+) COST gets analyst upgrade.

(+) NVMI says stand-alone optical CD system accepted.

(+) HLCS jumped on genetic analysis systems sale.

(+) ITLN sold to Atheros in stock and cash deal.

(+) CYTR to submit revised protocol for Lou Gehrig's disease treatment.

(+) OPXA reports positively on MS treatment.

(+) AMGN gets favorable Barron's coverage.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) OSIR reports disappointing preliminary Phase 3 trial results for Prochymal.

(-) KFT declines after rejected bid by Cadbury.

(-) AIG gets analyst downgrade.

(-) SFD reports wider loss than Street expected.


MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks finish up just under 1%, in the upper end of the day's range and the third straight gain after volatile trading last week. Investors returned from the Labor Day holiday to a wave of mergers and acquisitions news that may suggest the economy could be picking up.

Overseas, Deutsche Telekom (DT) rose after the company said it was merging its UK mobile phone operations with that of France Telecom SA's to form the UK's largest mobile operator.

There also was a surprise 10.2 billion pound ($16.73 billion) stock-and-cash offer from Kraft (KFT) for Cadbury (CBY). CBY quickly rejected KFT's unsolicited takeover proposal while U.S. investors were out for the Labor Day holiday. But the potential for a drawn-out battle that could dramatically reorder the global candy market has financial markets buzzing, say reports in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.

Other deal news, OdysseyRe (ORH) received an unsolicited bid from Fairfax (FFH) to buy the remaining shares of ORH it doesn't already own at $60 in cash per share. Intellon (ITLN) will be bought by Atheros (NASDAQ:ATHR) in a $244 million cash and stock deal.

Analyst moves also dominated Tuesday's news. Industrial bellwether GE (NYSE:GE) was up after the stock was upgraded by JPMorgan to "overweight" from "neutral."

Tech shares were mostly firmer. Morgan Stanley changed its tech sector view this morning, according to a report on MarketWatch. The analyst, in general, is upgrading systems and PC hardware to Attractive from In Line but is downgrading software to In Line vs Attractive.

On the downside, AIG (NYSE:AIG) fell after the stock was downgraded by Credit Suisse to "underperform" from "neutral." Separately, Chinatrust Financial, a Taiwan-based firm, offered $2.4 bln for AIG's Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit, according to a Reuters report.

Crude oil closes up 4.5% at $71.10 a barrel. Gold closes below $1,000 after hitting 18-month highs. Actively traded December delivery closed up $3.10, or 0.3%, at $999.80 an ounce. Oil and gold rose as the dollar hit a new low for 2009 against the euro and is broadly lower against all major currencies.

In late economic news, July consumer credit fell at 10.4% rate, the biggest decline since the government began keeping records.

Over the weekend, a Group of 20 leadership pledge to continue global economic stimulus is also providing stocks with some underlying support.