Your stock market news today: Equities are higher across the board this morning after Larry Summers withdrew his name from the candidates to replace Ben Bernanke as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Summers told President Barack Obama on Sunday that he believes his appointment would be too controversial.
The Dow is up 1% at 15,536, Nasdaq is up 0.3% at 3,732, and the S&P 500 is up 0.8% at 1,701.
Stocks are holding their gains even as new manufacturing data on the New York region reflects an unexpected decline in manufacturing activity there. Investors also received data on industrial production and capacity utilization in August this morning that revealed the biggest monthly gain in six months last month.
Among the major stock market news this morning, Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE: PKG) agreed to acquire Boise Inc. (NYSE: BZ) for $12.55 per share in cash, for an aggregate transaction value of $1.995 billion, inclusive of $714 million of outstanding indebtedness of Boise. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2013 with committed debt financing.
The acquisition sent shares of Boise surging 26% this morning to a new 52-week high of $12.68.
Stock Market News Today: Huge Healthcare Moves
In other major stock market news today, Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: PSTI) is up 7% at $3.43 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted the clinical hold previously placed on the company's U.S. phase II study on June 4. In its letter to Pluristem, the FDA indicated that Pluristem had satisfactorily addressed all the clinical hold issues and the company may proceed with the study.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) and Cancer Research Technology Ltd., Cancer Research UK's technology development arm, have signed a multi-project alliance agreement to research and develop cancer drugs that modulate DNA damage and repair response processes in cancer cells.
The alliance will allow the companies to span the entire drug discovery process. This starts at new target validation, which proves a protein's importance as a therapeutic target, all the way to lead optimization, which means synthesizing compounds for further development as potential drugs.
IPOs in the Stock Market News Today
Investors should also know about initial public offerings (IPOs) gearing up to come to market.
Late last week, Twitter was rumored to be nearer to an IPO, likely by the end of the year. Investors recently learned that Goldman Sachs will be the lead underwriter, with a roughly $15.5 billion valuation expected.
Today, investors have turned their attention to Chrysler, which could file for an IPO this week and list this year. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told the Financial Times that the launch is more likely in the first quarter of 2014.
And finally, Violin Memory, a flash storage provider, is expected to raise as much as $180 million from its IPO this week of 18 million shares, Reuters reports. The company has been planning an IPO since 2011 and expects to price shares between $8 and $10.
Today's Energy Sector Movers Include L&L Energy
Energy shares are also strongly higher, while crude oil futures are declining. Light, sweet crude oil for October delivery is trading down $1.59 at $106.62 a barrel.
L&L Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: LLEN) was up about 4% at the opening bell but has since eased off gains, now down about 1%. Shares rose after the company said it has reached a strategic agreement with the China Low-Carbon Industry Investment Center to jointly develop new energy initiatives.
The investment center has invited L&L to build new energy projects using low carbon and new energy technology on its land located at an industrial park in Zhuozhou City, Hebei Province, approximately 30 miles from Beijing City center.
Consumer Sector News
Finally, consumer shares are higher in pre-bell trading along with the broader stock market rally. Among them, Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) shares are up more than 2% in morning trade after Global Equities issued a favorable report on the company's patent applications and reiterated an Overweight rating.
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