* Spectra Energy jumps on Enbridge deal
* Cepheid soars on $4 bln Danaher offer
* Indexes up: Dow 0.25 pct, S&P 0.11 pct, Nasdaq 0.22 pct (Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Sept 6 (Reuters) - Wall Street was higher on Tuesday morning as lower chances of an interest rate hike and a host of multi-billion dollar takeover deals boosted investor sentiment.
Top Federal Reserve officials, encouraged by a string of strong economic data, had hinted that a rate hike could come as early as this month. However, Friday’s disappointing employment numbers dampened those expectations.
Traders now see a 21 percent chance of a rate hike this month, down from 24 percent, following the jobs data. The odds edged down to 50.6 percent from 53.6 percent for December, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
The dollar index fell 0.2 percent on Tuesday.
“The markets probably got what they most wanted,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital.
“The jobs number wasn’t strong enough to strike fear of a rate hike this month, nor weak enough to cast doubts on the economy.”
At 9:41 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was up 46.06 points, or 0.25 percent, at 18,538.02.
The S&P 500 was up 2.45 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,182.43.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 11.65 points, or 0.22 percent, at 5,261.55.
Six of the 10 major S&P 500 indexes were higher, led by a 0.77 percent rise in energy.
Spectra Energy jumped 11.7 percent, giving the energy index its biggest boost, after Enbridge agreed to buy the company for $28 billion.
Financials fell 0.2 percent and were the biggest drag on the benchmark index.
Shares of molecular diagnostics company Cepheid soared 52.4 percent after the company agreed to be bought by Danaher for $4 billion, including debt. Danaher’s shares were marginally lower.
Navistar jumped 31.2 percent after Volkswagen agreed to supply engines to U.S. truck maker in exchange for a 16.6 percent stake.
Monsanto edged up 0.61 percent after German chemical maker Bayer sweetened its bid to buy the world’s largest seed company.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,618 to 1,048. On the Nasdaq, 1,377 issues rose and 1,009 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 23 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 95 new highs and six new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)