Stocks Opened Higher on Acquisition News

Stocks opened higher on Monday, feeding on acquisition news and brushing off weak manufacturing data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately gained 146.75 points to 11,415.77. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 15.67 points to 1,194.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 32.16 points to 2,540.14.

Google Inc. agreed to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for about $12.5 billion, a move that would make Google more competitive in the mobile-computing market.  It’s by far Google’s biggest acquisition and a sign the online search leader is serious about expanding beyond its core Internet business and setting the agenda in the fast-growing mobile market.

A gauge of manufacturing in New York State showed the sector unexpectedly contracted for the third month in a row in August as new orders fell to their lowest level since November 2010, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday. The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index fell to minus 7.72 from minus 3.76 the month before. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of zero.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) plans to sell its credit card business in Canada to TD Bank Group and will exit its card business in the UK and Ireland. The agreement with TD Bank covers an $8.6 billion card portfolio, according to a Bank of America statement on Monday. It did not disclose the value of the transaction.

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