U.S. stocks advanced on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected Dell earnings and a flurry of deal news.
The benchmark S&P 500 rose above 1,333.58, double the intraday low hit in early March 2009.
French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA
In another proposed deal, activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Group offered to acquire Family Dollar Stores Inc
Merger and acquisition activity has picked up, raising investor hopes it will bring more fresh cash into the market.
It seems as if the market has a very strong bid underneath stock prices. There seems to be a desire to get invested. So any time there's a pullback, if the next day there's a hint of good news, the market bounces back, said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
It's a market that people in general are trying to get back involved with, he said.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 73.07 points, or 0.60 percent, at 12,299.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 9.37 points, or 0.71 percent, at 1,337.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> put on 23.17 points, or 0.83 percent, at 2,827.52.
Even though the market slipped on Tuesday from 2-1/2-year highs, stocks have been rallying since early September, with the S&P 500 up more than 25 percent in that period.
Trian's bid for Family Dollar helped shares of other discount retailers. Dollar Tree Inc
(Additional reporting by Edward Krudy, editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)