Companies also went shopping on the Presidents Day holiday weekend as Actavis bought Forest Laboratories for $25 billion and Ashland sold its water treatment unit for $1.8 billion. Carl Icahn must be especially happy with the Forest Labs sale as he tried not, once, but twice to get the company to sell itself and still owns a stake in the biotech. It also augurs well for Wall Street advisers who have been waiting for a recovering economy to support an uptick in mergers and acquisitions.

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