U.S. stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) got a boost this morning as mergers and acquisitions activity encouraged investors.

A busy week of economic data is expected on Wall Street this morning, and it could soon sharpen the picture for investors. One of the major reports expected is the monthly reading on the job market, which will be out on Friday. Unemployment is considered one of the biggest hurdles the economy has yet to overcome, reports Sara Lepro for the Associated Press.

Also upcoming this week include home prices, manufacturing, consumer confidence, construction spending and factory orders. There are also going to be some updated outlooks from companies before the third-quarter earnings season kicks off.

Xerox (NYSE: XRX) recently announced that it will purchase Affiliated Computer Services (NYSE: ACS) in a $6.4 billion cash and stock deal, which will enable Xerox to expand into technology and data management. Additionally, pharmaceutical company Abbot Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced that it will purchase Brussels drug company Solvay, giving Abbot full control of its Belgium development partner’s cholesterol departments and exposure to emerging markets. The news sent the SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals (NYSEArca: XPH) up 2% in morning trading.

In other news, crude oil edged above $66/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as the dollar gave up most of its earlier gain against a basket of currencies, boosting the appeal of oil and commodities to investors. The news sent the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) up 1.3% in morning trading.

Overall, all three major U.S. indexes were in positive territory this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.3%, the S&P 500 adding 1.5% and the Nasdaq jumping 1.9%.

For more news on crude oil, visit our oil category.

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.