Shares of retailers and other consumer companies rose amid deal activity.
Casino operator Penn National Gaming agreed to buy rival Pinnacle Entertainment in a cash and stock deal worth roughly $1.87 billion.
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Vietnam's government is selling more than half of its stake in the country's largest beer maker to a Thai billionaire for $4.8 billion, one of the first big deals in a privatization campaign for the fast-growing nation.
Meanwhile, consumer staples companies are scrambling for deals that will help them adjust to changing consumer tastes.
Hershey and Campbell Soup both said they had struck deals to buy snack companies in all-cash deals. Hershey agreed to buy popcorn maker Amplify Snack Brands for about $921 million in a deal that's expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. Campbell, meanwhile, agreed to buy snack maker Snyder's-Lance Inc. for $6.1 billion. The Hershey and Campbell deals follow Unilever's decision to offload its margarine and spreads business to leveraged-buyout firm KKR.
--Rob Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 18, 2017 16:29 ET (21:29 GMT)