US STOCKS-Markets advance as mergers, deals spur buying

* HP offer of $24 a share for 3PAR tops Dell bid

* Campbell may bid for United Biscuits: report

* 3M CEO says may double acquisition money spent in 2010

* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

(Updates to the open)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 23 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) rebounded from a
two-week string of losses in the Dow and S&P on Monday as a
bidding war involving HP and Dell, along with other acquisition
deals, lifted sentiment.

In the past week’s second major deal in the technology
space, Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) bid $24 a share in cash for
3PAR Inc (PAR.N: ), topping an earlier bid from Dell Inc
(DELL.O: ). Shares of 3PAR, a data storage company, surged 40
percent to $25.28, while Dow component HP slid edged 0.2
percent lower to $39.77. Dell shares were up 0.8 percent at
$12.17. For details see [ID:nN23188685]

Last week Intel Corp (INTC.O: ) moved to acquire software
maker McAfee Inc (MFE.N: ) for $7.7 billion. [ID:nN19252526]

“The fact that HP is topping a Dell offer suggests that
companies are willing to pay for assets they think are
strategic,” said Jordan Posner, senior portfolio manager at the
New York-based Matrix Asset Advisors.

The M&A activity “creates an opportunity for stocks to
reflect some of the good fundamentals that are out there,”
Posner said.

Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N: ) may make a $2.3 billion break-up
bid for Britain’s United Biscuits, which is owned by private
equity firms PAI Partners and Blackstone Group LP (BX.N: ),
according to a report in the London-based Sunday Times.
Campbell shares were up 0.8 percent to $36.95. [ID:nLDE67L05L]

3M Co’s (MMM.N: ) chief executive, George Buckley, said the
Dow component may spend about $2 billion on acquisitions in
2010, twice its previous estimate. 3M shares gained 1.8 percent
to $82.10. [ID:nTOE67M07U]

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was up 46.47
points, or 0.45 percent, at 10,260.09. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) was up 5.51 points, or 0.51 percent, at
1,077.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was up 3.07
points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,182.83.

Concerns about the strength of the recovery have
intensified in recent weeks, with weak economic data adding to
the cautious tone and depressing trading volume levels. Both
the Dow and S&P have notched two straight weeks of losses

Thomas Hoenig, the Kansas City Reserve Bank President, is
scheduled to speak later on Monday. Hoenig is a prominent hawk
on the Fed and recently said that by keeping rates near zero
for so long, the Fed was undertaking a “dangerous gamble.”

October crude oil futures rose 0.2 percent to $73.95 per
barrel, though prices were close to last week’s six-week lows
on bulging U.S. inventories. [ID:nSGE67M035]

The Federal Reserve plans to reduce American International
Group Inc’s (AIG.N: ) credit line by about $3.6 billion in a sign
of growing confidence that the government bailed-out insurer
can emerge from taxpayer support, Bloomberg said, citing a
person with knowledge of the proposal. [ID:nSGE67M06E]

AIG rose 1.8 percent to $35.80.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) slipped on Friday and the S&P 500 and Dow fell
on persistent concerns the recovery has tapered off. For the
week, the S&P 500 was down 0.7 percent and the Dow slipped 0.9
percent, while the Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent on some positive
outlooks in technology shares.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Markets advance as mergers, deals spur buying