Students of Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School are suspended in mid-air as they practice in a rehearsal for a stunt performance which is part of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, at a stadium in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.
Stocks finished higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq logging the day's largest gains.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,569.98, +16.1, (+0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,936.92, +5.3, (+0.3%)
- Nasdaq: 4,401.33, +30.4, (+0.7%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
1. The top story on Monday was a massive merger in the pipeline space, with Kinder Morgan consolidating its four publicly-traded subsidiaries into one company. Kinder Morgan said the deal will create the largest energy infrastructure company in North America and the third largest energy company overall with an estimated enterprise value of $140 billion. Following the announcement, shares of each of Kinder Morgan's publicly traded unit, Kinder Morgan, Kinder Morgan Management, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, and El Paso Pipeline Partners, all surged. BI's Rob Wile has a full breakdown of the deal here.
2. Also in mergers and acquisitions, Chiquita Brands stock gained 30% after the company received a $13 per share joint takeover offer from agricultural giant Cutrale and Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra. In March, Chiquita agreed to be acquired by Irish produce distributor Fyffes in a deal that was expected to close before the end of 2014.
3. Dean Foods shares lost 4% after the milk giant reported a wider than expected quarterly loss and saying, "the balance of the year appears rocky." The company said that the average price for raw milk costs in the second quarter was up 6% over the prior year and up 31% from a year ago, and Dean Foods said for the remainder of the year it will deal, "with a continued unpredictable and volatile dairy commodity environment."
4. Tekmira Pharmaceuticals gained another 15%, adding to its 45% gains from Friday, after the FDA last Thursday modified the full clinical hold it had placed on the company's investigational TKM-Ebola drug. This action made the use of TKM-Ebola in patients infected with Ebola potentially possible.
5. Over the weekend, Barron's Bill Alpert said that shares of Zillow, which in late July announced a deal to acquire online real estate rival Trulia for $3.5 billion, could fall 50%. Shares of both Zillow and Trulia were down 2.5% on Monday.
6. Biopharmaceutical company MannKind gained 3.5% after announcing a development agreement with Sanofi for its inhaled insulin treatment Afrezza. In pre-market trade, MannKind shares were up as much as 30%, but the stock, which is among the most heavily shorted names in the market, pared most all of these gains during the session.
7. Goldman Sachs' David Kostin noted that in the second quarter, S&P 500 profit margins expanded to a new historical high of 9.1%. Additionally, Kostin noted that analysts' expectations are for margins to average 9.3% for 2014 and then jump to 10% in 2015.
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