M&A Deals Lift Stock ETFs

Stock exchange traded funds rose Monday morning after a six-week losing streak as several corporate deals helped lift equities.

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) announced a $2 billion deal for Timberland (NYSE: TBL). VF shares vaulted about 11% while Timberland surged more than 40% on the news.

The deal implies a 43% premium to the Friday closing price, although the takeover price is still slightly below Timberland’s 52-week high, Wall Street Strategies said in a note.

“To be clear, this is a fantastic deal strategically and valuation wise for VF Corp … and follows a swift decline in Timberland shares as it missed badly on first-quarter earnings,” the analysts wrote. The deal provides “sourcing opportunites” as Timberland’s platform is combined with North Face. The Timberland brand has “global awareness,” they added.

Retail HOLDRS (AMEX: RTH) was up nearly 1% in morning trade Monday.

In other M&A news, insurers Transatlantic Holdings (NYSE: TRH) and Allied World Assurnace (NYSE: AWH) said they plan to combine in a $3.2 billion merger. Both stocks are held in PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWP). Transatlantic shares rallied 12% while Allied World Assurance dropped about 2%.

Wendy’s/Arby’s Group (NYSE: WEN) jumped 5% after the company said it was selling the Arby’s chain to Roark Capital Group. First Trust Consumer Discretionary (NYSEArca: FXD) rose fractionally.

Gerber Scientific (NYSE: GRB) shares soared 34% after the company said it has agreed to be acquired by Vector Capital. PowerShares Zacks Micro Cap (NYSEArca: PZI) rose 0.5%.

First Trust Consumer Discretionary


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