Stocks edge higher after Sysco acquisition


Associated Press

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 9 at 10:36 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market edged higher Monday morning after a big acquisition in the food industry.

Food distributor Sysco jumped $7.79, or 23 percent, to $41.15 after it announced an agreement to buy rival US Foods in an $8.2 billion acquisition.

Sysco is paying about $3.5 billion in cash and stock as well as assuming $4.7 billion in debt for closely held US Foods.

Stocks were building on gains from Friday when they jumped after the government reported a fourth straight month of solid U.S. job gains. That helped boost investor confidence that the economy is growing strongly enough to cope with any reduction in the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,810. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,055. The Nasdaq composite gained 15 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,077.

In other corporate news, American Airlines rose $2.18, or 9.7 percent, to $24.81 on the company's first day of trading after completing its merger with US Airways.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.84 percent from 2.86 percent Friday.

In commodities trading, the price of oil dropped 20 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $97.36. Gold rose $6.5, or 0.5 percent, to $1,235.40.

Among other stocks making big moves:

— Edwards Life Sciences slipped $2.19, or 3.3 percent, to $64.13 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company forecast lower sales for of its Sapien heart valves.