US shares hit record on deal making



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(Close): The S&P 500 edged to another record high, helped by some hefty deal making activity among US firms.

The S&P 500 added 1.5 points to close at 2,041. The Dow Jones, which reached a record high last Thursday, rose 13 points to close at 17,647.

The technology focused Nasdaq index fell 18 points to close at 4,671, hurt by a 1.5% loss for shares in Amazon.

Shares in Baker Hughes jumped 8% after it agreed to a takeover deal from rival oil services firm Halliburton.

And another big winner was Allergan, whose shares rose almost 5% after it agreed to a takeover from rival Actavis.

Dreamworks Animation saw the most spectacular fall on the Nasdaq, plunging 14% on reports that a takeover by toy maker Hasbro might have run into problems.

All of that deal making news helped boost investor confidence, which had been dented by news earlier on Monday that Japan had fallen into recession.

There was also a warning from UK prime minister David Cameron about the health of the global economy.

In an article in the Guardian, Mr Cameron said "red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy".

"It shows the strength of the overall market that you could have this recession news out of Japan, and yet have the market inch upwards," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.