Corporate Consolidations Boost Markets

Merger and acquisition news boosted the markets to a sharply higher open with the Dow surging 137 points to 16,498. Nasdaq climbed 30 points to 4,105.

On the upside

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) offered approximately $100 billion to acquire AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) over the weekend.

The Department of Defense will fund a new clinical trial for Galena Biopharma's (Nasdaq: GALE) breast cancer recurrence prevention treatment NeuVax.

Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) will pay approximately $1.46 billion in cash and stock to purchase Furiex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: FURX).

On the downside

Athersys (Nasdaq: ATHX) reported disappointing results from a mid-stage clinical trial of its refractory ulcerative colitis treatment MultiStem cell therapy.

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OGXI) reported that its prostate cancer treatment custirsen failed a late-stage clinical trial.

New Oriental Education and Technology Group (NYSE: EDU) reported higher third quarter earnings and revenue but the number of schools and learning centers fell.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 3 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 climbed 13 points to 1876. Bitcoin slipped $6.62 or 1.52% to $434.80.

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