Mergers and acquisitions, or M&A activity, so far in 2011 has been a driving force in the stock market's positive performance.
In fact, global M&A activity in the first quarter topped $799.8 billion, the most since 2007's pre-crash frenzy, according to a recent report in Forbes magazine.
MergerInvesting.com, which tracks the M&A market, says 130 deals have either already been closed in 2011 or are currently pending. And, while the total number of global deals is down slightly from the same period in 2010, the actual value of the deals is up more than 55% (with deals involving U.S. companies accounting for 49.6% of that total - a 117% jump from 2010).
Looking forward, most M&A analysts now predict more than $3 trillion in takeover activity for all of 2011.