Stock Market Today: M&A Activity Rules the Day

The stock market today has been relatively mild following Friday's buyer-friendly session.

Friday's momentum was halted as poor reports from around the globe surfaced today.

Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached a record high of 11.1%, the highest since the inception of the euro in 1999. In total the level of unemployment for the 27 countries in the European Union stayed at its May level of 10.3%.

On Sunday Spain dominated the final of the European Championship soccer tournament, beating Italy 4-0 - but that will do little to comfort the fact that Spain has the highest unemployment in the EU at 24.6%.

Domestically the Institute for Supply Management's factory index (ISM) fell from 53.5 to 49.7 for June, the first time the level was below 50 since July 2009. Any reading under 50 signals contraction and economists had expected a reading of 52. Still this number is better than the Eurozone's as the London-based Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) held steady at 45.1, the eleventh straight month of contraction for the region.

In some good news that hasn't helped the markets today, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending rose 0.9% to an annual rate of $830 billion, the highest level since December 2009.

The biggest share price-moving news includes a number of acquisitions announced today. They include Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), General Electric (NYSE: GE), Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) and Brightpoint Inc. (Nasdaq: CELL).

Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) announced today that it would purchase enterprise management software maker Quest Software Inc. (Nasdaq: QSFT).

Dell had been in a bidding war over Quest with Insight Venture Partners since March 8, when Quest announced it would be acquired by Insight for $2 billion, or $23 a share. Dell then outbid Insight with a $25.50 bid, which Insight then topped with a $25.75 proposal before Dell's final offer.

Dell appears to have finally won the battle. The company will purchase Quest for $2.4 billion or $28 share.

Quest stock has risen since the bidding war began by more than 43% to its current price of $27.80.

Dell hopes the deal will boost revenue from data-center hardware, software and services and work to reduce the company's reliance on the sluggish desktop and notebook computer businesses.

Dell stock was down 1.2% as of noon.

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General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced Monday that EverBank Financial (NYSE: EVER) will purchase GE Capital's business property lending group.

The deal is said to be valued at $2.51 billion in cash and will include $2.44 billion of performing commercial loans, origination and servicing platforms, and servicing rights on $3.1 billion of loans securitized by GE Capital.

The Jacksonville-based EverBank said they hope the deal will boost earnings per share by low double-digits. GE has been trying to limit lending by the group after the financial crisis and called the deal a "strong strategic win" as part of its strategy to reduce the overall real estate portfolio.

Shares of GE were down 2% and EverBank was up 3.5% by noon.

Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU) announced that it will acquire bankrupt Japanese chip maker Elpida Memory for $2.5 billion. The deal is structured in that Micron will pay $750 million in cash and then $1.75 billion in future annual installment payments to cover Elpida's debt.

Elpida is Japan's only maker of dynamic random access memory chips widely used in personal computers. Micron also announced that it would acquire Taiwan-based Powerchip Technology Corp.'s 24% interest of Rexchip Electronics Corp. for about $334 million.

The deals will help Micron secure a place as a main supplier to tablet and smartphone companies such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).

"Today's transactions will help strengthen the combined companies' market position in the memory industry through increased research and development and manufacturing scale," Micron Chief Executive Mark Durcan said.

Shares of Micron Technology were up more than 4% as of noon.

Brightpoint Inc. (Nasdaq: CELL) is today's biggest gainer after the Indianapolis provider of services for cellular devices agreed to be bought for $9 a share by Ingram Micro Inc.

Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM) is the world's largest technology distributor and hopes the deal will move the company away from PC distribution. Ingram plans to create a "global provider of services and solutions for the mobile industry," according to a company statement.

Shares of Ingram Micro were up almost 1.5% and Brightpoint stock was up over 63 % as of noon. The Dow Jones today was down 62 points, or 0.48%, and the S&P 500 was down 4 points or 0.29% in early trading.

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