Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT) popped 10%, and Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) popped 11%, in intraday trading today, after Level 3 filed an update on the companies' planned merger.

So what: The deal was originally announced on April 11. In an 8-K regulatory filing with the SEC today, Level 3 stated that it expects the deal to close "before the end of 2011, although there can be no assurance as to whether or when the transaction will be completed."

Now what: Investors may be interpreting today's filing as a signal that the deal is more likely to close. The two companies estimate that the merger will generate cost savings of $2.5 billion, transforming two money-losers into a combined company with earnings of about $1.6 billion. Together, the pair might also benefit from more rational pricing in the industry, which could boost revenue and be an additional positive for earnings.

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