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Announced U.S. merger and acquisition activity in the first half of 2017 featured more announced deals than in the first half of 2016 (up 17.3%, from 5,544 to 6,504), but less overall value (down 15.9% from $695 billion to $584 billion), according to Thomson Reuters. Global announced M&A volume was the reverse, falling 4.1% in number of deals but climbing 2.2% in total deal value.

Bottom line: We're seeing an increase in small deals and distressed deals in the U.S., but fewer takeovers of successful companies whose share prices have climbed in the longstanding bull market.

Other data notes from the Thomson Reuters report:

  • The world's largest announced deal so far in the Bennetton family's Atlantia bidding to acquire toll road operator Abertis Infrastructure. The largest U.S. deal is Becton Dickinson offering to buy CR Bard.
  • Goldman Sachs leads advisor league tables for both announced and completed M&A. This is true both globally and in the U.S.
  • Private equity activity is easily outpacing 2016, and becoming an increasing percentage of overall M&A activity. U.S. private equity activity represents over half of all global private equity activity.
  • Brazil had the largest jump in announced M&A volume year-over-year, up 382.6%.
  • Energy and power was the busiest sector for global M&A, followed by real estate, industrials and healthcare.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

What's really going on with the labor market

Source: YCharts

The labor market is showing some signs of improvement: Jobless claims fell to 730,000 — a dramatic drop from 841,000 the previous week. And the latest jobs report showed a pandemic-era low unemployment rate of 6.3%

But, but, but: That's not the full story, experts say.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Markets see rare convergence milestone

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

A milestone was reached in the markets Thursday: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to match the dividend yield on the S&P 500

Why it matters: The two yields have been inverted since the beginning of last year, which is historically unusual.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

First look: Business puts muscle behind Biden

Business Roundtable, the voice of America's top CEOs, today launched "Move the Needle," a campaign to support President Biden in rolling out COVID vaccines, increasing vaccine uptake and encouraging masks.

What they're saying: "Masks and vaccines are working. Now is the time to keep at it, overcome pandemic fatigue, and double down on the measures that will end this public health and economic crisis, said Business Roundtable president and CEO Josh Bolten.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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