Stock Indexes Higher in Early Trading on M&A Activity, Positive Manufacturing Data

Stock indexes were higher in early trading on Monday as a spate of mergers and acquisitions boosted investor sentiment and the government said manufacturing rose to the highest in a year.

AT&T (T) will acquire Time Warner (TWX), the owner of HBO, Warner Brothers Enteratainment and Turner, in a transcation valued at almost $109 billion. Time Warner shareholders will received $107.50 a share from AT&T, including $53.75 in cash and the same amount in stock.

TD Ameritrade (AMTD) said Monday it will acquire Scottrade Financial Services for $4 billion in cash and stock. The transaction is complicated, with TD Bank buying Scottrade Bank prior to the deal between their respective parent companies. Aircraft parts company Rockwell Collins (COL) said it would acquire cabin interior manufacturer B/E Aerospace (BEAV) for $6.4 billion.

The preliminary October Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose 1.7 points toa reading of 53.2 in October, topping estimates for a reading of 51.2. The mark is the highest since last October, Markit said. New orders rose to 54.7 from 51.1, though the employment component declined.

Oil prices dropped on Monday with global benchmark Brent Crude down 0.7% and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate down 1.1% after Iraq said it wants to be excluded from a pact to curb production proposed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%, the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.

Globally, the FTSE lost 0.4%, the Nikkei gained 0.6% and the Shanghai Composite added 1.2%.

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