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Stock Market Today Gains on KMI Merger News, TSLA Upgrade, and MKND Deal

Stock market today, Aug. 11, 2014: U.S. stocks jumped modestly Monday as markets continued to recover from a recent reversal. Investors remain guarded about geopolitical concerns in Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq, although easing tensions in some of those recent hotspots may be giving stocks a lift.

The consumer staples led today's gains, propelled by a positive earnings report by Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY), which saw shares increase by more 3% after its announcement. Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) were also up 4.5% after the company received another upgrade from Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB).

Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:

Dow: 16,569.98, +16.05 (+0.10%)
Nasdaq: 4,401.33, +30.43 (+0.70%)
S&P 500: 1,936.92, +5.33 (+0.28%)

Now, here are the top stories from today:

    stock market today
  • Energy Blowout: Today's top performer in the S&P 500 was Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI), up nearly 9%. The pop came after the company's chief executive officer, Richard D. Kinder, announced plans to acquire all of its other businesses in several transactions worth approximately $44 billion. Shares of its other Kinder companies soared on the day. Shares of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (NYSE: KMP) jumped more than 16%. Shares of Kinder Morgan Management LLC (NYSE: KMR) were up more than 25%, and shares of El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: EPB) were up more than 20% on the day. Here's the full report on the Kinder Morgan consolidation announcement…
  • Pharma Profits: Shares of MannKind Corp. (Nasdaq: MKND) surged more than 9% on news Sanofi SA (NYSE ADR: SNY) will purchase the rights of the firm's inhaled insulin product for up to $925 million. Sanofi will pay $150 million up front for the drug, Afrezza and up to another $775 million if the product meets expected sales and development goals.
  • Bitcoin Bitten: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said this afternoon that the federal agency will begin accepting complaints from anyone who uses Bitcoin and online exchanges for digital currencies. Speaking on the dangers of using Bitcoin, CFPB Director Richard Cordray called the unregulated market "the Wild West" and appeared ready to issue new warnings to investors and consumers who use the currency. The digital currency slipped roughly 1.7% on the day and is currently priced at approximately $580. For more Bitcoin news, check out this recent story about a Bitcoin report that shocked the Fed…
  • Sour Milk: Shares of Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) slipped more than 4.5% on news that the company has withdrawn its 2014 profit forecast. The company issued a statement, calling the dairy industry "unpredictable and volatile." U.S. raw milk prices soared another 6% over the last quarter. Milk prices are up a staggering 31% from a year ago, and prices now sit at a record high of $23.66 per hundred-weight.
  • Done Deal: Private capital firm The Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) is very close to acquiring a massive stake in a Louisiana natural gas field from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (NYSE ADR: RDS.A). The deal is part of a recent trend by financial firms to purchase cast-off shale fields from large international companies. Shares of Blackstone Group were up more than 2.5% on the day.

Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only:

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