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Merger Frenzy Lifts Market

Stocks are on the rise amid a spate of deals to start the week.

Updated from 4:05 p.m. EST

U.S. markets started the week on a high note Monday as traders used a spurt in dealmaking to put the sluggishness of recent sessions behind them.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

advanced 119.51 points, or 1%, to 12,105.55, and the

S&P 500

was up 15.48 points, or 1.1%, to 1379.78. The

Nasdaq Composite

gained 35.16 points, or 1.5%, to 2365.95.

Most sectors were in the green, led by a 4.2% gain in the Dow Jones U.S. Trucking index. The Amex Airline index was up 2.8%, and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector index was higher by 1.8%. Gold and silver indices sat out the rally and declined about 1.2%.

As a new week unfolded, a spate of mergers brought in buyers. Among the tie-ups,

Four Seasons


received a $3 billion takeover offer from a group that includes controlling shareholder Isadore Sharp,


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founder Bill Gates and Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed.

Four Seasons was up 29.2% to $82.50, easily setting a 52-week high.

Another acquisition will see

Abbott Labs

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Kos Pharmaceuticals


for $78 a share in a $3.7 billion deal.

Kos surged 53.8% to $77.06, but Abbott ticked down 0.4% to $47.47.

Wall Street struggled last week amid a string of economic data that traders found unfriendly for stocks. On Friday, the Dow closed down 32.5 points to 11,986.04 -- its sixth straight decline and its first time ending below 12,000 since Oct. 18. For the week, the Dow lost 104 points, the S&P 500 shed 13 points, and the Nasdaq gave back 20 points. On a percentage basis, each index surrendered 0.9%.

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But with mergers dominating the headlines, investors decided it was a good day to buy.

OSI Restaurants


, the owner of Outback Steakhouse, will be acquired by an investor group made up of its founders, Bain Capital Partners and others for $40 a share, and

Swift Transportation


got a $29-a-share bid from former chairman Jerry Moyes, the company's largest shareholder.

OSI climbed 22.6% to $39.75.

Elsewhere, buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts recently approached


about possibly acquiring the French media company, but talks have now ended.

Outside of the M&A arena, earnings, continued coming in, although the pace has slowed considerably.

XM Satellite Radio



Marvel Enterprises


beat analysts' estimates, while

Northeast Utilities


affirmed its expectations.

XM was up 15.6%, and Marvel gained 5.8%.

Treasury prices edged higher, with the 10-year note rising 3/32 in price to yield 4.70%. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, and December crude futures rose 88 cents to $60.02 a barrel.

Overseas, stocks were higher across Europe. Asia was mixed. Equities were weak in Japan and Korea but stronger in Hong Kong and mainland China.