Stocks advanced Monday, after a three-day losing streak, as investors cheered a wave of merger-and-acquisition activity.
Xerox announced plans to buy Affiliated Computer Servicesin a deal valued at $6.4 billion. The move is aimed at taking Xerox beyond a document-management business and into technology outsourcing and data management.
And Abbott Laboratories agreed to buy the drugs unit of Belgian conglomerate Solvay for $6.6 billion in cash.
Apple shares rose as the iPhone goes global: It will be available in China starting in October for about $730. It will reach France later this year.
Tech stocks were mostly higher, with the Nasdaq outperforming the broader indexes, but Research In Motion continued to slide after the company's lackluster results last week cast doubt on the outlook for tech spending.
Johnson & Johnson bought an 18 percent stake in Dutch biotech company Crucell for $444 million as part of a flu vaccine development deal.
GenTek shares soared after the chemical and engine-components maker agreed to a $411 million takeover bid from a subsidiary of private-equity firm American Securities.
Kraft may launch a hostile bidfor Cadbury valuing the UK confectionary business at around $17.6 billion, a report in The Observer newspaper said.
In a separate interview with the Sunday Times, Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfield said Cadbury CEO Todd Stitzer had failed to "do the math quite accurately" after he claimed Cadbury's own growth strategy would deliver superior returns compared to Kraft's cash and stock offer.
The dollar fell to an 8-month low against the yen in early hours after Japanese officials initially waved off any plans to stem the yen's rise. But later, Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said that he never approved of a strong yen.
In other corporate news, Bank of America has suspended its current commitments to ACORN Housing, an affiliate of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a scandal-hit U.S. liberal grassroots group, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Goldman Sachs confirmed earlier reports that it plans to recruit up to 200 people for its asset-management business.
TUESDAY: Case-Shiller home-price index; consumer confidence; Fed's Plosser speaks; Earnings from Walgreens
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications; ADP jobs report; GDP; weekly crude inventories; Fed's Lockhart speaks
THURSDAY: Personal income/spending; jobless claims; ISM manufacturing index; pending-home sales; construction spending; auto sales; Fed's Bernanke, Pianalto, Lockhart speak
FRIDAY: Sept jobs report; factory orders; Calif. IOUs mature
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