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Stocks Rise; S&P 500 Tops 2,000 for First Time

Jeremy Glaser

U.S. Market
Stocks rallied this morning with the S&P 500 rising over 2,000 for the first time.

New home sales were down 2.4% in July from June to an annual rate of 412,000, below the 425,000 rate expected by economists. Sales were up 12.3% from July 2013 levels.

At midday the Dow was up 0.6% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were each 0.6% higher.

Stocks on the Move
Burger King (BKW) is considering purchasing Tim Hortons (THI) and moving its corporate headquarters in Canada in order to lower its tax rate. The potential tax-inversion deal comes as a number of U.S.-based firms have executed or are exploring similar transactions. Burger King shares soared nearly 18% while Tim Hortons was up nearly 20% on the news.

Roche (RHHBY) announced on Sunday that is acquiring biotech InterMune (ITMN) for $8.3 billion. The $74 dollar a share offer represented a 38% premium from InterMune’s Friday’s close. Roche is buying the firm primarily for InterMune’s Esbriet, which is a new drug used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Roche shares were up less than 1% on the deal while InterMune soared 35%.

Foreign Markets
European shares were higher today after dovish comments from ECB head Mario Draghi at Jackson Hole. In late trading, the FTSE 100 was flat, while Germany’s DAX and Paris CAC were up 1.8% and 2.1% respectively.

Asian markets were mixed today. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.5%, the Nikkei 225 as up 0.5% while the Hang Seng was 0.2% higher.