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U.S. stocks were set to open higher Monday, as investors welcomed a spate of corporate mergers ahead of President Obama's speech at the Chamber of Commerce.
Stocks closed a choppy session on Friday higher -- ending the week with gains of more than 2% -- as investors looked past a muddy report on the U.S. job market.
For the week, the Dow gained nearly 2.3%; while the S&P 500 was up 2.7%. The Nasdaq added more than 3% over the last five trading days.
Later Monday, a government report is expected to show that consumer credit rose a seasonally adjusted $2.5 billion in December, after increasing by $1.3 billion the previous month.
Companies: AOL (AOL) agreed to purchase news blog service The Huffington Post for $315 million, the two entities announced early Monday.
Ensco (ESV) announced plans to buy rival offshore drilling company Pride International (PDE) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $41.60 per share, which represents a 21% permium to Pride's closing price on Friday, the companies said.
Shares of Houston-based Pride (PDE) surged 13% before the opening bell.
Medical device maker Danaher Corp. (DHR) will buy Beckman Coulter (BEC) for $6.8 billion, or $83.50 per share. Beckman shares jumped 10% in pre-market trading.
U.S.-listed shares of Nokia (NOK) were up over 2% in pre-market trading following reports that a management shake-up is brewing at the Finnish cellphone company.
Oil for March delivery gained 5 cents to $89.06 a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery rose $1.90 to $1,350.70 an ounce.
Three-month copper futures hit $10,160 per ton on the London Metal Exchange, a new record high.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 3.65% from 3.58% late Friday
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