The Dow Jones finished +0.54% higher, up 85 points to 15,961.70.
The big news this morning comes from Aberdeen Asset Management, which is snapping up Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) for £660m. The deal is predominantly shares-based while Lloyds also gets a 9.9% stake.
Depending on performance, Aberdeen will also pay Lloyds up to £100m. The deal includes infrastructure fund management operations and private equity operations. Overall, the agreement should mean Aberdeen becomes Europe's largest independent fund manager, accelerating past Schroders.
"This transaction is significant," says Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert, "for the long-term prospects of Aberdeen in a number of ways. It strengthens our investment capabilities and adds new distribution channels; the acquisition of SWIP adds scale to our business across a range of asset classes."
with £2.9bn of new contract wins from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Ministry of Justice and Cabinet Office; in the private sector there's been wins from Carphone Warehouse and Telefónica UK (O2).
Sales activity is described as "buoyant". The bid pipeline currently stands at £4.2bn
(July 2013: £4.2bn) with a number of bids at a relatively mature stage of the procurement process and a good weight of opportunities at earlier stages, claims Capita.
"To date in 2013, we have secured 15 new major contracts with an aggregate value of £2.9bn (November 2012 IMS: £1.7bn), comprised of 95% new business and 5% renewals."
We end with interim six month numbers from engineering and IT systems player, Aveva Group. Group revenue climbs 11% to £108.5m with adjusted profit before tax climbing 13% to £32.3m. Basic earnings per share climbs 10% to 27.03p.
It's widely expected Aveva, given its long relationship with EDF, will benefit from the recent nuclear power plant orders, recently signed with the UK government. Liberum Capital recently reiterated its Hold rating on the stock.
"Aveva," says chief exec Richard Longdon, "remains well positioned with broad exposure to multiple growth markets and high recurring revenues. We have clearly demonstrated our technology leadership putting significant distance between us and the competition, and we are excited about the opportunities for our new Cloud and Mobile solutions."