Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) started the week off in positive territory, following the lead of markets around the world as merger news raised investors’ optimism on an economic recovery.

Foodmaker Kraft (NYSE: KFT) offered a bid for Britain’s Cadbury, which included $16.7 billion in cash. Although Cadbury rejected the offer, negotiations will continue. Investors also appear to like the idea of a merger between Deutsche Telekom AG and France Telecom SA, which plan to combine their British mobile phone units, report Ieva M. Augstums and Tim Paradis for the Associated Press.

The confidence in the markets further trickled down to the commodities markets. Crude oil rose above $70/barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as an improving economy stirs up demand. The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) was up 3.6% in morning trading.

Gold powered through the $1,000/ounce barrier as weakness in the dollar and technical momentum made the precious metal attractive. On the negative side, some investors were also seeing gold as a warning to stock market bulls and were fretting about the result of central banks and governments pumping billions of dollars into banking systems to boost growth. The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD) was up 0.7% in morning trading.

Overall, all three major U.S. indexes were up in morning trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3%, the S&P 500 gained 0.5% and the Nasdaq jumped 0.6%.

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.