Markets are seeing a mixed day, as surprisingly bad economic data knocked them down early. Despite the manufacturing sector contracting for the first time since July 2009, the major indexes have rallied back to pare their losses. Big acquisitions are driving the headlines today, specifically one in the biotech space and another in the tech realm.

That said, let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring and at the deals happening today.

Index

Gain/Loss

Gain/Loss %

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) (46.01) (0.36%) 12,834.08
Nasdaq 1.23 0.04% 2,936.78
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) (1.86) (0.14%) 1,360.30

Source: Yahoo! Finance, as of 2 p.m.

Dell is trading slightly lower today after beating the competition to acquire Quest Software (Nasdaq: QSFT) for a 44% premium from where Quest was before the buyout talk began. Quest is another notch in Dell's bedpost as the hardware maker continues to grab high-margin software companies.

Carl Icahn must be a happy man today, as his holding Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMLN) is up 9% after the company successfully negotiated a higher price to sell itself to Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY). Rumors of Bristol's original $22-per-share offer sent the activist investor on the rampage, but a formal sale process that allegedly also saw Merck try to add Amylin's Bydureon to its own formidable diabetes stable ended up with Bristol offering $31 per share, or $5.3 billion. It's a big price, but diabetes is already a $35 billion market that many expect to increase to $58 billion in less than six years.

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