Stock Market Today: Stocks Are Mixed as Corporate Deals Offset Japan's Recession

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wheelings and dealings from top pharmaceutical giants and energy companies distracted Wall Street on Monday from the news that Japan had fallen into recession in its third quarter.

Among the corporate deals being forged on Monday, Actavis (ACT) made its $219-a-share bid for botox manufacturer Allergan (AGN) public, triggering a 1.4% jump in Actavis and 5.2% increase in Allergan. The deal put a stop to Valeant Pharmaceuticals' (VRX) and activist investor Bill Ackman's hostile bid for Allergan.

Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes (BHI) was the best performer on the S&P 500 after Halliburton (HAL) agreed to purchase it for $34.6 billion. Baker Hughes surged 10.2%, while Halliburton shares dropped 10%.

"Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes could be a harbinger of a trend towards further consolidation in the energy sector, particularly if oil prices fall further and stay lower for longer," Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus wrote in a report. 

Hasbro (HAS) shares spiked more than 3.7% after preliminary talks to purchase DreamWorks (DWA) fell through. Investors were concerned a deal worth an estimated $30 a share was too high a price tag for the animation studio. DreamWorks tumbled 14%, one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq.

"Current M&A activity serves as evidence to us that boards of directors and shareholder activists continue to see value in acquisitions, mergers and strategic disposals," added Stoltzfus.

Markets saw minor moves again on Monday, extending the trend set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.11%, while the S&P 500 edged 0.03% higher. 

"U.S. equities have gone quiet, quickly," MKM Partners' derivatives strategist Jim Stugger wrote in a note. "Though 31 SPX constituents reporting earnings through next Friday may keep things interesting, the impending holiday-shortened Thanksgiving week means volatility is likely to remain low into December." 

The Nasdaq was performing far worse than other benchmark indices, down 0.35%, dragged on by Amazon (AMZN) shares and a selloff among Internet stocks. Amazon shares were down 2%, a correction after the stock rallied on news the company had resolved a months-long dispute with French book publisher Hachette.

Social media and enterprise software-as-a-service companies such as LinkedIn (LNKD) , Jive (JIVE) , and Salesforce (CRM) were stumbling after a Financial Times report suggested Facebook (FB) will launch a professional networking site rivaling the other company's services. After an earlier rally, shares of Facebook down 1%.

Japan's third-quarter GDP fell 1.6% after a 7.1% dive the previous quarter. Economists had expected growth as high as 2.1% from the year earlier.

Japan's Nikkei tanked nearly 3% following a record run of seven-year highs after the Bank of Japan announced new stimulus measures in October. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite also tumbled.

Though nowhere near as dire as Japan, data from the U.S. on Monday wasn't as sunny as expected. Industrial production fell unexpectedly in October, its second fall in three months, according to Federal Reserve data. A 0.2% increase was expected. The Empire State manufacturing index, a survey of New York State manufacturers, recovered from a six-month low in October, recording a reading of 10.16 in November, though less than a forecast reading of 11.

-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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