LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- It was major corporate deal making that drove the markets on Monday.
Shares of Family Dollar jumped 13 percent following news that investor Carl Icahn has taken a stake in the discount retailer.
And drug company Merck announced a deal to buy Idenix Pharmaceuticals, boosting Idenix's stock by 229 percent.
Tyson is the winning bidder on Hillshire
Tyson Foods Inc. Springdale named as the winning bidder for Hillshire Brands of Chicago in a deal worth $8.5 billion.
Tyson, which had been in a bidding with rival Pilgrim's Pride Corp., winning the deal after a weekend bid process.
Tyson would pay $63 per share for Hillshire, giving it prime position in the prepared foods sector along with some choice brands, including Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean's sausages.
Hillshire Brands shareholders have yet to approve the Tyson deal, they must first abandon its own purchase of another company Pinnacle Foods which it announced early last month.
Observers expect Hillshire will terminate that deal sometime in the next few days.
Accident with a Walmart tractor trailer
Actor Tracy Morgan remains in critical condition today after a weekend auto crash involving a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer rig.
New Jersey prosecutors on Monday alleged that the driver of the truck -- 35-year-old Kevin Roper -- had had no sleep for 24 hours at the time of the accident, which killed comedian James McNair.
For its part, Wal-Mart says it had installed safety equipment in the truck Roper was driving -- equipment designed to slow the truck's speed and notify the driver of stopped traffic ahead.
Wal-Mart said Roper is a contract employee. He'll make a court appearance tomorrow.
Wal-Mart's trucking fleet, one of the largest private fleets in the country, has more than 6500 trucks and more than 7,400 drivers, according to Arkansas Business' most recent survey.
Former VP to make job announcement today
Vice President Al Gore is in Arkansas today for a jobs announcement in Osceola.
Gore will join Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Grant Tennille -- along with other local leaders and executives -- for the announcement at 12:30 today.
No word yet on the nature of the announcement or the number of jobs.