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“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” – Richard Nixon

Morning stock market summary

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It’s a merger Monday to start the week with three relatively small deals by today’s standards.  In the biotech space, CinCor (CINC) will be acquired by AstraZeneca (AZN) in a deal that could be valued at up to $1.8 billion while Albireo (ALBO) will be acquired by Ipsen for just under $1 billion.  Both of those stocks are trading up 90% or more in the pre-market.  Outside of biotech, software company Duck Creek Technologies will be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $19 per share in cash ($2.6 billion).  While the deal represents a 46% premium to Friday’s closing price, it’s worth noting that DCT traded for just under $60 per share in early 2021.  So, the price of the deal is still less than a third of where it once traded during the height of the mania in software stocks.

Along with the deal activity, futures are seeing some follow-through from Friday’s big rally, and growth stocks are leading the move higher with Nasdaq futures trading up just over 0.5%. Some of the reasons for optimism this morning include reports that China has removed all of its border restrictions and that the saga to elect a Speaker of the House is finally behind us.  Yields are slightly higher on the long end of the curve, and it’s a quiet day on the economic calendar.

Friday’s rally for the bulls was a nice respite from what had been some disappointing sessions.  On the positive side, it was nice to see the S&P 500 finally break out of what had been a nearly two-week very tight trading range- and not break out of that range to the downside! For all the optimism about the rally, it’s still important to note that the S&P 500 wasn’t even able to close out the week above its 50-day moving average (DMA).  Late in the day Friday, it attempted to take out that level but pulled back modestly into the close after briefly touching it.

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