The stock market made it three up days in a row Monday, thanks to slew of acquisitions that has observers wondering if Wall Street is getting its Mojo back .
Investors were heartened by the fact that so many of the corporate buyers are using cash to close the deals, possible evidence that U.S. businesses that have been sitting on piles of cash may finally be ready to put all that money to use.
In the last three days the broad-based S&P 500 index has gained more than six percent, and the gains come in the face of headwinds: a New York state manufacturing report that is down for the third month in a row and weak U.S. consumer confidence report.
It's enough to make someone think Wall Street is regaining its animal spirits.
Here are four of the biggest deals announced Monday:
- Google Inc. is paying about $12 billion in cash for Motorola Mobility.
- Transocean Ltd. is paying $1.43 billion in cash for Norway's Aker Drilling.
- Time Warner Cable is paying $3 billion in cash for cable operator Insight Communications Co. Inc.
- Cargill, a huge agribusiness conglomerate, is paying about $2.1 billion for animal feeds producer Provimi from private equity firm Permira.
Google's deal, the largest acquisition ever for the tech company, has an "in your face, Apple" quality to it, because it provides Google with a hardware manufacturing business that could position it to better compete against the maker of iPhones and iPads.
Transocean's deal marks a 62 percent premium to Aker Drillings 30-day average price and underscores the energy industry's optimism about future opportunities find commercial quantities of crude oil and natural gas.
Time Warner Cable's deal was the company's first major acquisition since it separated from Time Warner 12 years ago.
Cargill's deal solidifies its worldwide reach in the animal nutrition business. Provimi operates in 26 countries. The company stressed its intention to keep investing around the world.
"This acquisition would mark a significant step in Cargill's animal nutrition growth strategy and underlines our commitment to continued long term investment to meet the needs of our customers around the world," said Paul Conway, Cargill's vice chairman.