Data-storage giant Western Digital (WDC) led the S&P 500 Friday, on news that $5.6 billion in senior unsecured notes will accompany the roughly $18 billion loan package to support its tie-up with SanDisk.
The $19 billion merger between the two tech giants netted shareholder approval this week, and SanDisk simultaneously began rolling out its debt financing packages to prospective lenders, as Real Money reported.
The unsecured notes and leveraged loan components of the deal mark the largest bond and loan offering of 2016 for debt considered non-investment-grade, or "junk,' which means it is rated below Baa3 or BBB- by Moody's or Standard & Poor's, respectively.
Wall Street appears to be gaining confidence in the value of the proposed merger, which Western Digital has said will allow the company to take a substantial share in the data-storage market, while benefiting through cost cutting in business overlaps.
"This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry," said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer, Western Digital. He said the combined company will be well-positioned to capture growth opportunities in its rapidly evolving market.
Meanwhile, oil prices bobbed up and down on the day, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate prices finishing down 2.2% -- at $39.33 a barrel.
Swiss offshore driller Transocean (RIG) bore the worst of the decline, with shares sinking 8% and pulling the company to the bottom of the S&P on the day.
National Oilwell Varco (NOV), the Houston-based provider of oil-and-gas equipment, wasn't far behind. Its shares fell more than 4% with the decline in crude prices.