After Market: Dow and S&P 500 Rise Toward Big Milestones

The major averages continued to climb to record highs Monday, and some big milestones are now within sight. The S&P 500 has closed at all-time highs in 10 of the last 13 trading sessions, and it's now just 2½ percent short of the 2,000 level. The The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) is closing in on 17,000. It gained 18 points today, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged nearly 2 points higher, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 14 points.

Tyson Foods (TSN) has won the bidding war for sausage maker Hillshire Brands (HSH), agreeing to pay more than $8.5 billion for the sausage maker. That represents a 70 percent premium over Hillshire's stock price before the bidding began last month. Hillshire gained 5 percent Monday, but Tyson lost 5 percent. Pinnacle Foods (PF), which dropped out of the food fight today, gained about 1½ percent.

Also on the merger front, Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) more than tripled in price after agreeing to be acquired by Merck (MRK). If you look at the Identix chart over the past six months, you'll find it hovered between $5 and $10 a share -- until Monday, when it soared to about $24.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) fell 4 percent on word of that deal. Merck is seen as a much stronger competitor in developing a treatment for Hepatitis C.

And Hittite Microwave (HITT) jumped 28 percent. The maker of integrated circuits agreed to be acquired by Analog Devices (ADI), which gained 5 percent.

Elsewhere, Apple (AAPL) gained 1½ percent after its 7-for-1 stock split took effect. It closed at nearly $94 a share.

Family Dollar (FDO) Stores rallied 13 percent on news that investor Carl Icahn had purchased a 9.4 percent stake in the company. That prompted Family Dollar to adopt what's known as a "poison pill" plan, setting a 10 percent threshold for investors.

Rival discounter Dollar General (DG) jumped 7 percent on the Icahn news.

And Time Inc. (TIME) fell nearly 1 percent on its first day trading as an independent company after being spun off by Time Warner. There's concern that the company is saddled with debt and magazine titles that are shrinking, not growing.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

What to Watch Tuesday:
  • At 10 a.m. Eastern time, The Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for April, and the Labor Department releases job openings and labor turnover survey for April.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Burlington Stores (BURL)
  • RadioShack (RSH)
  • Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance (ULTA)
  • United Natural Foods (UNFI)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

7 Products With Outrageous Markups
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After Market: Dow and S&P 500 Rise Toward Big Milestones
With a cost per pound of potatoes near 15 cents and a retail price near $6 per pound, you're paying a 3,900 percent markup for those crispy fries. And we're not even counting the cost of trans fats to your health.
It's the ultimate upsell: "You want a drink with that?" A cup of soda costs 15 cents; you pay $2.95 -– a bubbly margin of 1,875 percent.
Buying apparel with a designer label is a financial faux pas. With a cost of $7 and a retail price of $60, that brand name shirt has a 750 percent markup.

 You know this one: the "latte factor" so often cited by frugalistas, but it's still worth noting. A home brew cup of joe costs about 50 cents. Spend $2.45 on a grande, and you've paid a 390 percent markup

Does your vehicle really require premium oil? Check the owner's manual for specifications. The markup on "high-performance" oils can be 80 percent, costing you $20 more than a regular oil change.

Those bountiful food troughs may seem like a tasty bargain, especially for those with ample appetites, but the odds favor the house. The average buffet is $12, but the servers know that most stomachs can't hold more than $8 worth of food. It's a 50 percent markup in their favor.

"Mascara will expire in three months, whether you buy it from CVS or Chanel," the report says. "When deciding how much to spend, think about the lifetime of each item. Case in point: drugstore mascara will cost you about six cents per use, whereas Chanel will cost you about 33 cents -- and you probably won't finish using either before the expiration date." Bottom line: You're paying an extra $25 -- a 450 percent markup for –- for the brand on the bottle.
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