Higher close despite Iraq unrest

Despite concerns about Iraq, the markets closed higher with the Dow gaining 41 points to 16,775 as investors embraced merger and acquisition news. Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,310.

On the upside

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted not to require cardiovascular outcomes trials for Nektar Therapeutics' (Nasdaq: NKTR) peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist class of drugs.

Reuters reported that GTech SpA made a bid for International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT).

Rumors circulated that Level 3 (NYSE: LVLT) was exploring a possible bid for tw telecom (Nasdaq: TWTC).

On the downside

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OMED) halted enrollment in Phase 1 clinical trials of vantictumab and Fzd8c-Fc.

A judge ruled that patents owned by InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC) were not infringed upon by ZTE and Nokia.

Investors locked in profits on XOMA (Nasdaq: XOMA).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 gained 6 points to 1936. Bitcoin rose $13.92 or 2.35% to $592.17.

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