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UnitedHealth & Fujifilm ink deals, Intel moves on reports

Here are your trending tickers - the stocks you're searching the most on Yahoo Finance. We might as well call it merger Monday since deals are the big driver of the stock market today.

United Health (UNH), for starters, is buying Catamaran (CTRX) for close to $13 billion. It's United's biggest purchase ever; sending shares are up more than 2% on the news. For those of you who don't know, Catamaran is a benefits manager - helping to negotiate with drug companies and pharmacies. Catamaran shares are also up on the news - jumping some 24% so far in today's trade. The deal shows UnitedHealth -- which is the country's largest health insurance company -- is bulking up its drug benefits business.

Deal number two - Fujifilm is purchasing biotech firm Cellular Dynamics (ICEL). Yes, that's the same Fujifilm that used to compete with Kodak back in the day. The Japanese company has been expanding into medical equipment and pharmaceuticals in recent years, which is why this deal makes sense. In November, Fujifilm said it planned to spend more than $3 billion on M&A deals over the next three years, so expect more of these buys in the future. Cellular Dynamics' stock has more than doubled in today's trade, up nearly 108% at the time of this writing.

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Finally, Intel (INTC). There's no deal here yet but reports say the company is in talks to buy Altera (ALTR). Talk of a possible deal first surfaced Friday, sending stocks up during the end of Friday's session. Now investors have had some time to process a possible deal, and the stocks are pulling back. Intel stock down slightly today - though as of this writing it’s recovering some of its morning losses. Altera stock, which was up roughly 29% Friday, is also giving back a bit today - down about 6% earlier but coming back a bit now.  The reported deal, if it happens, would be Intel's biggest ever. Altera - which is currently an Intel partner - makes chips for networks and cars and could help Intel move away from the struggling world of PCs. Earlier this month, Intel issued negative guidance for the first quarter - cutting revenue estimates by $1 billion. The company reports earnings April 14.

It's no surprise that the Nasdaq (^IXIC) is up nearly a percent so far today, given that many of today's headline stocks trade on the exchange. The Dow (^DJI), meantime, up about 250 points.


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