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4:16 PM, Mar 1, 2010 --

  • NYSE up 65.71 (0.9%) to 7,100.75.
  • DJIA up 78.5 (0.8%) to 10,404.
  • S&P 500 up 11.22 (1%) to 1,116.
  • Nasdaq up 35.3 (1.6%) to 2,274.


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng up 2.17%
  • Nikkei up 0.45%
  • FTSE up 0.84%


UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) OSIP gets acquisition offer at $52 per share.

(+) AIG sells unit.

(+) MIL sold to Merck KGaA.

(+) EP beats with Q4.

(+) IPI turns up despite missing with Q4 results.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) GAME tumbles despite sales, earnings beat.

(-) SNDA falls after reporting weakest profit in three quarters.

(-) MG accidentally releases premliminary results.

MARKET DIRECTION

Stocks end near session highs, with the Nasdaq up 1.5%, DJIA up 0.8% and S&P 500 up 1%. Deal news and some relief over progress for Greece cheered Wall Street bulls as March kicks off. Commodities were mixed after a weekend earthquake in leading copper producer Chile.

Early in the day, a report showed personal income rose by 0.1% in January, short of the 0.4% expected by economists. However, spending grew faster, up 0.5%, the Commerce Department reported. Economists were looking for a 0.4% increase. It was the slowest growth in four months.

Around midmorning, the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index index was 56.5 last month, slightly slower than the 58.4 reading in January. It was also slower than the 58 level expected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Overseas markets rallied, providing some lift domestically, on growing hope that European nations will announce a bailout deal to help Greece with its mounting debt problems.

Among the deal news:

American International Group (NYSE:AIG) announces a definitive agreement for the sale of the AIA Group, Limited (NYSEARCA:AIA) to Prudential plc (NYSE:PUK) for approximately $35.5 billion. The deal includes approximately $25 billion in cash, $8.5 billion in face value of equity and equity-linked securities, and $2.0 billion in face value of preferred stock of Prudential, subject to closing adjustments.

OSI Pharma (OSIP) jumps after Astellas Pharma (OTCPK:ALPMY) said it offered to acquire the company for $52 per share cash, or about $3.5 bln.

Merck KGaA (NYSE:MRK) announced on Sunday it will pay $107 per share in cash, or $7.2 billion, for Millipore (NYSE:MIL).

RiskMetrics Group (RMG) agrees to be acquired for $21.75 a share, or $1.55 billion, of cash and stock by MSCI (MXB).

Source: Tech Stocks Set the Pace for Broad Market Gains