Today's stock market – Motley Fool

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Stocks started the holiday week on a positive note, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) rising on a generally quiet day of trading.

Today’s stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.31% 72.09
S&P 500 0.13% 3.29

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks benefited from rising interest rates today. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEMKT:KRE) closed up 0.9%. 

As for individual stocks, semiconductor vendor Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL) is getting bigger by acquiring Cavium (NASDAQ:CAVM), while Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI) is slimming down, selling off its overseas businesses. 

Stock prices and graph.

Image source: Getty Images.

Marvell and Cavium join forces

Chipmaker Marvell announced it is acquiring smaller peer Cavium in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $6 billion, confirming a rumor that had surfaced earlier this month. Marvel will pay Cavium shareholders $40 in cash and 2.1757 Marvell shares for each share of Cavium stock. Investors applauded the deal by bidding up shares of both companies; Cavium jumped 10.8% and Marvell gained 6.4%.

Marvell and Cavium are engaged in complementary businesses, both developing ARM-processor-based systems on chips, with Marvell primarily selling solutions for storage applications and Cavium focusing on chips for wired and wireless networking in data centers and network service providers. The deal will be financed with the cash of the combined companies and additional debt of $1.75 billion, and is expected to close mid-calendar 2018.

“This is an exciting combination of two very complementary companies that together equal more than the sum of their parts,” said Marvell CEO Matt Murphy in the press release. “This combination expands and diversifies our revenue base and end markets, and enables us to deliver a broader set of differentiated solutions to our customers.”

Marvell also announced preliminary results for the current quarter that were slightly above analyst expectations at the midpoints of the EPS and revenue ranges. The good news on the financial front, along with confirmation of a deal that makes a lot of sense for both companies in a consolidating semiconductor industry, had investors cheering today.

Armstrong World Industries becomes less worldly

Ceiling tile maker Armstrong World Industries announced it was divesting its businesses in Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and the Pacific Rim in order to focus on it business in the Americas. Investors approved the move, sending shares higher by 6.9%.

Armstrong will sell the units to competitor Knauf International GmbH for $330 million in cash, and will include the units in those regions that are owned by WAVE, the company’s joint venture with Worthington Industries. The selling price values the divested businesses at about 13 times EBITDA and about 0.78 times anticipated 2017 sales of $425 million.

“While I was pleased with the recent progress that our EMEA and Pacific Rim teams were making, we ultimately concluded that industry consolidation in those markets is required to provide the scale and efficiencies necessary to achieve acceptable and sustainable returns,” said CEO Vic Grizzle in the press release.

Armstrong has been trying to grow by getting smaller, having spun off its flooring business in April 2016. The move to sell off its slow-growth overseas business is intended to allow the company to invest more in high-end mineral fiber manufacturing in the Americas, where it has leading market share.

Jim Crumly has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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