Stocks followed up on Friday’s big rally by basically marching in place. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 5 points and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rose 6. The Standard Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) added 3 points, edging to a record close.
A couple of mergers gave the market a boost. Sysco (SYY) — the food company, not the tech giant – jumped 9 percent after agreeing to pay $3.5 billion to buy privately held rival U.S. Food. They are two of the largest food distributors in the country, which means the deal is likely to draw the scrutiny of antitrust regulators.
Given Imaging (GIVN) soared 27 percent after agreeing to be swallowed up by Covidien (COV). Given makes pill-sized, ingestible cameras that take pictures from inside patients’ bodies. Covidien edged slightly higher.
And American Airlines (AAL) completed its deal to combine with US Airways. The new American Airlines rose nearly 3 percent in its debut on the Nasdaq. United Continental (UAL) and Delta (DAL) both gained 2 percent, despite the weather-related flight delays and cancellations over the past few days.
In the biotech sector, Celgene (CELG) gained 2 percent and Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) rose 5 percent. Their drug to treat severe anemia showed positive results in a phase 2 trial. And Gilead (GILD) rose nearly 2 percent after winning FDA approval for its $1,000 a day drug to treat hepatitis C.
Other Big Movers Monday:
- Chipmaker Micron (MU) Technology rose another 4 percent. It’s one of the market’s best performers over the past year — up a whopping 260 percent.
- OSI Systems (OSIS) tumbled 27 percent after saying its airport detection systems did not meet the TSA’s contractual requirements.
- And Newfield Exploration (NFX) fell 8 percent after issuing a disappointing outlook on production and capital expenditures over the next few years.
What to Watch Tuesday:
- At 10 a.m. Eastern time, the Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for October; the Labor Department releases its job openings and labor turnover survey for October; and the Federal Reserve meets to vote on final version of the Volcker Rule.
These major companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:
–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
Congress commonly waits until late in the year to extend expiring tax provisions like these, as well as others not mentioned above, such as the exemption for charitable IRA distributions, deductions for mortgage insurance premiums, and the higher immediate write-off amounts for small-business equipment purchases.
Lawmakers often use what’s known as a tax-extenders bill to pass all the extensions in a single package. Earlier this month, WOTC Coalition President Paul Suplizio said that a seemingly unrelated Medicare-payments bill was probably the first step toward a year-end tax extenders bill that would cover expiring tax breaks like these.
And, just as millions of Americans procrastinate until April 15 to file their taxes, we can expect lawmakers to wait until Dec. 31 — or beyond — to decide the fate of these tax breaks.