Futures Fall Amid News Deluge

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures slumped on Thursday as traders mulled two big corporate mergers, earnings and economic data.

Today's Markets

As of 9:03 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 48 points to 13910, S&P 500 futures dipped 4.3 points to 1513 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 10 points to 2760.

There were no lack of headlines Thursday in what had previously been a fairly quiet week for Wall Street.

The pace of mergers and acquisitions has heated up substantially recently, with numerous big deals being announced in recent weeks. Ahead of the opening bell, H.J. Heinz (NYSE:HNZ) said it will be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital for $72.50 a share -- a 20% premium to the food company's closing price on Wednesday. The deal, valued at $28 billion, is the biggest ever in the food industry, according to the two companies.

U.S. Airways (NYSE:LCC) and bankrupt American Airlines parent AMR also took the wraps off a tie-up that will create the world's biggest airline, valued at $11 billion.

Meanwhile, on the earnings front, Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) unveiled quarterly results that topped expectations on the top and bottom lines.

There was also a better-than-expected report on the labor market. The Labor Department said new claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell to 341,000 last week from an upwardly revised 368,000 the week prior. Claims were expected to fall to 360,000 from an initially reported 366,000.

Oil futures drifted higher. The benchmark contract traded in New York rose 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $97.20 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.37% to $3.047 a gallon. In metals, gold gained $2.20, or 0.13%, to $1,647 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.63% to 2640, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.48% to 6328 and the German DAX slumped 0.77% to 7653.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 gained 0.5% to 11307 and the Chinese Hang Seng climbed 0.85% to 23413.