U.S. stocks advanced in early trade on Monday with the S&P 500 Index gaining 4.88 points, or 0.37 percent, to trade at 1,315.75 at 9:50 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 36.63 points, or 0.30 percent, to trade at 12,128.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.31 percent.
On Friday, U.S. stocks overcame a slow start to the day to finish moderately higher, as investors overcame a conflicting January jobs data. For the week, the Dow rose 2.3 percent, while the S&P and the Nasdaq rose by 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
On the M&A front, shares of AOL Inc. ( NYSE:AOL) declined 2.92 percent after the company said early Monday morning plans to acquire online news website Huffington Post for $315 million, as part of the company's attempt to turn its business around with a strategy of becoming a top producer of digital content.
Shares of Danaher Corp. (NYSE:DHR) gained 3.46 percent and Beckman Coulter Inc. (NYSE:BEC) surged 9.63 percent after Danaher Corp said it would buy BEC for $83.50 a share or $6.8 billion in cash including debt.
On the corporate front, Shares of Sysco Corp. (NYSE:SYY) plunged 5.26 percent as its profit dipped to $258.2 million or $0.44 per share, compared with $268.3 million or $0.44 per share in the same period a year-ago.
Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) shares gained 0.29 percent. The company reported fourth-quarter profit of $140 million or $0.99 per share, down from $165.6 million or $1.09 per share in the same quarter last year.
The euro declined 0.42 percent to 1.3524 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.19 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures declined 0.44 percent to $88.64/barrel and gold futures rose 0.13 percent.
European stock markets advanced with FTSE 100 up by 34.65 points, DAX30 up by 56.82 points and CAC 40 up by 32.11 points.