US stocks higher after AT&T-Time Warner merger announced
US stocks rose early Monday but both AT&T and Time Warner shares dropped on news of their controversial $108.7 billion mega merger as antitrust challenges loomed.
AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner would transform the telecom giant into a media-entertainment powerhouse. But it is expected to face tough scrutiny from politicians and antitrust officials. Shares of Time Warner fell 2.6 percent, while AT&T lost 1.3 percent.
The market faces a heavy week of earnings reports that accelerates on Tuesday with Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble and General Motors.
About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,240.02, up 0.5 percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 percent to 2,152.71, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.8 percent to 5,301.83.
Analysts said investors were cheered by a series of smaller merger and acquisition announcements.
B/E Aerospace, a supplier of aircraft cabin equipment, surged 15.7 percent on news it will be bought by Rockwell Collins for $6.4 billion in cash and stock plus $1.9 billion in the assumption of debt. Rockwell Collins fell 5.2 percent.
TD Ameritrade lost 2.3 percent following an announcement that it will buy privately-held Scottrade for $4 billion, combining two large online brokerages.
Hilton Worldwide climbed 1.7 percent after Chinese conglomerate HNA Group said it would acquire a 25 percent stake in the global hospitality giant from investment firm Blackstone for $6.5 billion.
Rival hotelier Marriott International rose 1.3 percent.
Kimberly-Clark fell 2.9 percent after third-quarter earnings and revenues missed analyst expectations, with chief executive Thomas Falk pointing to “a more challenging economic and competitive environment.”
Kimberly-Clark, which makes toilet paper and other household products, also slashed its full-year forecast.
T-Mobile US jumped 6.5 percent after announcing that third-quarter net profit more than doubled to $1.1 billion as it added two million wireless customers.