• *Hillshire Brands shares soar after Pilgrim's Pride bid. NEW YORK, May 27- U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday after the S&P 500 touched a record high, buoyed by the latest round of merger activity and as expectations for rate cuts at the European Central Bank stoked investors' appetite for equities.

  • WASHINGTON, May 27- U.S. regulators should challenge the proposed $45 billion merger of the two largest American cable providers, Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc, the New York Times said in an editorial in Tuesday's newspaper.

  • *Hillshire Brands shares jump after Pilgrim's Pride bid. *Cisco shares up on Deutsche Bank upgrade, price target hike. NEW YORK, May 27- U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday with the S&P 500 hitting a fresh record high supported by merger activity and as expectations for rate cuts at the European Central Bank stoked bids for equities.

  • *Hillshire Brands shares jump after Pilgrim's Pride bid. *Cisco shares up on Deutsche Bank upgrade, price target hike. *Aeropostale jumps after it secures $150 mln credit facility.

  • US STOCKS-Futures up on ECB hopes, merger activity Tuesday, 27 May 2014 | 7:51 AM ET

    *Hillshire Brands shares jump after Pilgrim's Pride bid. NEW YORK, May 27- U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday, ahead of a data-heavy session, as expectations for rates cuts by the European Central Bank stoked bids for equities even as the benchmark S&P 500 index closed at a record on Friday.

  • Pilgrim's Pride offers to buy Hillshire Tuesday, 27 May 2014 | 7:10 AM ET
    Packages of Sara Lee Corp. Hillshire Farm deli meat are displayed for sale in a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois.

    Pilgrim's Pride is offering to acquire meat producer Hillshire Brands in a deal worth about $5.52 billion.

  • European shares buoyed by merger hopes Tuesday, 27 May 2014 | 3:22 AM ET

    EDINBURGH, May 27- European shares edged higher on Tuesday, supported by hopes for more mergers and acquisitions activity that helped UK shares outperform mainland Europe.

  • Emilia Falcetti, Analyst, Japan Healthcare Equity Research at Cantor Fitzgerald, discusses whether Asian pharmaceuticals will follow their global peers in "ditching the diversification model."

  • Partners at 1,300- lawyer Squire Sanders voted on Friday, after 300- lawyer Patton Boggs, known for its lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., had earlier approved the combination.

  • NEW YORK, May 23- The law firms Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs said on Friday they had agreed to combine, striking a deal that is expected to save Patton Boggs from growing financial strain. In a news release, the two firms said they would begin operating under the name Squire Patton Boggs effective June 1.

  • May 22- The fate of the proposed merger of law firms Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders appeared uncertain on Thursday after Squire Sanders halted voting on approving the tie-up. The deal was held up because of concerns over the role of Patton Boggs in a legal battle between Chevron Corp and a group of Ecuadorean villagers, a source close to the deal told Reuters.

  • Two days ago, partners from the 300- lawyer Patton Boggs voted on the proposed merger with the 1,300- lawyer Squire Sanders. Neither Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry, who would be co-managing partner of the new firm, nor James Maiwurm, chairman of Squire Sanders, responded to requests for comment.

  • Lorillard down amid merger talks     Thursday, 22 May 2014 | 9:33 AM ET

    The "Squawk on the Street" crew weigh in on the potential merger between tobacco companies Reynolds American and Lorillard.

  • NEW YORK, May 21- Reynolds American Inc is in active discussions to buy Lorillard Inc in a complicated, three-way transaction that could see British American Tobacco PLC take a major role to back a potential merger, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • May 20- Law firm leaders at Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C., were tallying votes on Tuesday on a proposed merger with Squire Sanders, a deal that is expected to be approved and that would provide financial relief to struggling Patton Boggs. The firm has represented Amazon.com, Facebook, Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp., according to the center.

  • WASHINGTON, May 20- ConAgra Foods Inc, Cargill Inc and CHS Inc won U.S. antitrust approval on Tuesday to merge their North American flour mill operations after recently agreeing to sell four mills to a Japanese company.

  • NEW YORK, May 20- Verizon's CEO Lowell McAdam shot down rumors that the company was in potential merger talks with satellite operator Dish Network on Tuesday, days after rival AT&T announced plans to buy no 1. U.S. satellite operator DirecTV. AT&T's plans to purchase DirecTV raises questions about Dish's next move.

  • Ackman: Allergan CEO has 'disabling' deal conflict Monday, 19 May 2014 | 10:23 AM ET
    Bill Ackman

    Activist investor William Ackman told Allergan's board that the CEO has a 'disabling' conflict of interest because a takeover means losing his job.

  • *Fed minutes, China PMI, Japan trade data awaited this week. LONDON, May 19- The dollar struggled to hold an important support level against the yen on Monday, hit by a fall-off in expectations for higher U.S. interest rates, while the pound faced pressure from signs a major merger deal will fail.

  • NEW YORK, May 18- Mergers of equals were largely dead long before ad giant Omnicom Group Inc struck its ill-fated $35 billion deal with rival Publicis Groupe SA.