Wall Street stocks edged higher in early trade Thursday following news that CVS Health would acquire senior pharmacy services company Omnicare for $12.7 billion.
About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,295.28, up 9.88 points (0.05 percent).
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 3.22 (0.15 percent) to 2,129.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 6.58 (0.13 percent) to 5,078.32.
CVS said the purchase of Omnicare will enable it to boost prescription sales in assisted-living and long-term care facilities. The transaction comes on the heels of numerous deals in the pharma and health care industries.
Omnicare rose 1.3 percent, while CVS advanced 2.8 percent.
The muted opening trade follows modest moves earlier in the week. "The stock market has logged three full days of trading this week and it has basically gone nowhere," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.
Hewlett-Packard advanced 0.9 percent after announcing it will sell a 51 percent stake in its China-based server business for $2.3 billion to Tsinghua Holdings, the investment arm of China's Tsinghua University. The two companies are creating a new company called H3C.
Electronics retailer Best Buy jumped 5.5 percent as first-quarter earnings translated into 37 cents per share, eight cents above analyst forecasts.
Amazon surged 2.8 percent on news that Morgan Stanley raised its profit forecasts, citing improved efficiencies at the online retailer.
Salesforce, a cloud computing company, vaulted 5.3 percent after reporting a profit of $4.1 million in the first quarter, compared with loss of $96.9 million a year ago.
Lumber Liquidators, which sells hardwood flooring, tumbled 14.1 percent after it said chief executive Robert Lynch had resigned unexpectedly. The company has been under scrutiny following a March report by CBS television news show "60 Minutes" that said products contained dangerous levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dropped to 2.22 percent from 2.29 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year fell to 3.02 percent from 3.08 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.