There's one tech-related area that's particularly attractive to investors right now. And it's an industry that Wall Street had all but written off just seven months ago.
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The S&P 500 recently hit a new high as it drove through the 2,000 mark for the first time in history on the day that Burger King announced that it would purchase iconic Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons.
Thus far in 2014 there have been $2.3 trillion of announced mergers & acquisitions (M&A) transactions around the world - $1.16 trillion in the United States alone - and undoubtedly there are more on the horizon.
Indeed, M&A activity is a major catalyst for the booming stock market and is good for investors.
Unless it's really a sign of a dying bull... If that's the case, we're in some big trouble.
Here's what's got me concerned, and why we need to exercise caution right now...
Fresh off a holiday shortened week that left all three major benchmarks up 2%, stocks headed higher Monday kicking off a busy week.
Earnings, M&A activity, and analyst upgrades were pushing share prices higher.
Deal making is back on Wall Street - in a big way.
Mergers had been nearly non-existent for nearly six years in the wake of the financial crisis as global economic uncertainty, heightened scrutiny of corporate boards, high unemployment and the housing market bust had put a damper on M&A deals.
But 2013 has begun with a flurry of deal making, with $160 billion worth of merger activity thus far, the most at this point in the year since 2005, according to Dealogic.
And the stellar start to the markets this year - the S&P gained 6.6% in January and the Dow is quickly approaching its all-time high - suggests deal making will heat up in the months ahead.
The latest M&A deals come at a time of historically low financing costs, renewed corporate confidence, and companies flush with stockpiles of cash. In this climate, companies are seeking growth through deals and see them as a way to expand while appeasing anxious shareholders.
"The dam is burst. The forces were too powerful to hold back forever," James B. Lee,
vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), told The Wall Street Journal.
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.