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Merger Monday lived up to its moniker today amid a flurry of deal making that put the 2014 M&A market on pace to top $3 trillion for the first time since 2007.
Announced year-to-date deal volume through Friday included 131 mergers and acquisitions and other transactions valued at $1.04 trillion, up 47% from the same time period a year ago, according to Dealogic. That includes 11 deals last week totaling $243 billion.
It wasn't deals alone sending a number of stocks higher Monday. Company developments, analysts' actions, and earnings also boosted select equities.
Following are 12 of Monday's hot stocks to watch.
12 Hot Stocks to Watch Today
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) shares spiked some 4%, or $20, to reach a new 52-week high of $592.95 intraday. Share momentum followed the 9% gain logged last week on the heels of a stellar quarter. Also goosing the iPhone maker's shares is a new blockbuster $17 billion debt offering from the company. It ranks as the second-largest corporate bond sale of all time. Apple did a similar $17 billon offering in April 2013 (the largest at the time), and investors ate it up. Proceeds from the slated debt sale will be used to fund Apple's $90 billion share buyback so the company doesn't have to tap its $150 billion cash stash. About $130 billion of that cash hoard, or 88%, is held overseas. Returning it to U.S. shareholders would lead to a tax charge of up to 35%.
AstraZenca PLC (NYSE ADR: AZN) shares soared 16% to a 52-week high of $79.90 in morning trading after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) confirmed renewed attempts to acquire the British pharmaceutical company for $100 billion. The UK company, however, says Pfizer's proposed price undervalues the company and refuses to engage in talks. But, Pfizer isn't giving up. "Pfizer is currently considering its options with respect to AstraZenca," New York-based Pfizer said in a statement. "Pfizer believes the strategic, business and financial rationale for a transaction is compelling." PFE shares climbed 3.06% to $31.86.