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US and European Markets Rise on Tuesday; Merger Activity Heats Up (ODP, DELL)

By: , dated February 19th, 2013
On Tuesday the markets in Europe finally made gains and reached three-week highs after better-than-expected economic data was released in Germany. The German economic sentiment index hit a three year high and caused investors to turn to the auto and technology industries as well as the equities market. In the US, it was reported that the index of homebuilders dropped in February. Even though sentiment was down from the previous month the index is still near its highest since 2006. The S&P also reached its highest level of about five years on merger optimism. Office Depot (ODP) and OfficeMax (OMX) are in talks and may announce a deal soon–this would greatly increase competition for industry rival Staples (SPLS). After the bell Dell (DELL) announced that they beat estimates but earnings fell 31% from the same period one year ago. Gains from Google (GOOG) also led the tech industry higher after the company’s shares hit a new high and crossed over the $800 mark. The US dollar fell against both the euro and the Japanese yen and oil futures increased by 0.8% to settle above $96 a barrel.

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