US STOCKS-Wall St edges up, lifted by mergers, acquisitions
* Merck to buy Idenix, Analog to buy Hittite
* Apple sees heavy trading following stock split
* CBOE Volatility index near lowest since Feb '07
* Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all up 0.1 pct (Updates to open)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Monday, boosted by a number of major acquisition deals, though gains were slight with key indexes continuing to hover around records.
If the S&P 500 ends higher on Monday, that will mark its 11th rise of the past 13 sessions, and its seventh record close of the past eight trading days. While Wall Street's upward trend looks intact, traders may need new catalysts to bid the market up further lest the momentum runs out of steam.
Market participants will continue to watch the CBOE Volatility index, which rose 3.5 percent. On Friday, the "fear index" fell to its lowest level since February 2007. It remains nearly half of its historical average, which some analysts worry is a signal that the market is not fully accounting for issues that could derail the rally.
"I don't think you can argue that the market is stretched. There's room for the economy to grow, and while the VIX may suggest some complacency, I don't see the kind of euphoria that would indicate over-optimism about stocks," said Rex Macey, who helps oversee $20 billion in assets as chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust in Atlanta, Georgia. "I would be careful about pulling back on stocks too soon." Continuación...