As Alaska Airlines (ALK) is set to buy Hawaiian Airlines (HA) for $1.9 billion, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Exxon's (XOM) planned merger with Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD). S&P Global Market Intelligence Editorial Lead Joe Mantone examines M&A activity in 2023, discussing with Yahoo Finance the conditions that could boost or hurt M&A forecasts for the new year. "Something that could help M&A in 2024 is if... [interest rates] stop rising, if they stay at an elevated rate without increasing, that can help boost M&A activity," Mantone says. "Just because buyers have a better idea of what their financing is going to cost." Click here to watch the full interview on the Yahoo Finance YouTube page or you can watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live here.
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Stock markets finished lower on Wednesday, giving back early gains as investors started to worry about just how sustainable the bull market move in November was. Losses were biggest for the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC), but even there, the declines were relatively modest in comparison to the huge gains stock investors have enjoyed since the end of October. On Wednesday, blue chip stocks ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA) were the latest companies to announce new share repurchase programs that could return as much as $51 billion to investors over the next couple of years.