U.S. stocks drifted higher on Wednesday following several merger and acquisition deals, overshadowing an unexpected drop in January wholesale inventories.
Total wholesale inventories slipped 0.2 percent, versus expectations of an increase of 0.2 percent, while sales rose to their highest level since October 2008.
Private equity firm Apollo Management reached a deal to acquire Citigroup Inc's
We've started to see a pick-up in M&A activity, and that represents a sign of confidence that chief executive officers and chief financial officers see better times ahead, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 27.59 points, or 0.26 percent, at 10,591.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 5.67 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,146.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 15.29 points, or 0.65 percent, at 2,355.81.
American Eagle Outfitters Inc
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)