Futures Jump as M&A Activity Revs Up


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U.S. stock-index futures jumped solidly into positive territory on Tuesday as the pace of corporate deal-making picked up and traders awaited a key manufacturing report.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:15 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 82 points to 14877, S&P 500 futures rallied 12.5 points to 1644 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 19.3 points to 3093.

The Dow and S&P slumped in August amid concerns about when, and how, the Federal Reserve will end its vast bond-buying program. However, Wall Street awoke from a long weekend in an upbeat mood, boosted by a round of mergers and acquisitions.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) said it would buy Finnish Nokia's handset business for $7.2 billion in a move that analysts said could shift the tide of the mobile phone wars. The big buy came just a day after Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) revealed plans to buy the 45% of Verizon Wireless it doesn't already own from Vodafone (NYSE:VOD). The deal is one of the largest such moves in history.

Meanwhile, Jarden (NYSE:JAH) said it will buy Yankee Candle for $1.75 billion from a private-equity fund managed by Madison Dearborn Partners.

There is a key report on the manufacturing sector due out at 10:00 a.m. ET that could also capture the Street's attention. The Institute for Supply Management's gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity is forecast to have fallen to 54 in August from 55.4 the month prior. Readings above 50 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction for the factory sector.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 38 cents, or 0.35%, to $107.28 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.1% to $2.887 a gallon. In metals, gold slumped $1.30, or 0.09%, to $1,395 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.23% to 2767, the English FTSE 100 fell 0.1% to 6499 and the German DAX slipped 0.33% to 8217.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 surged 3% to 13978 and the Chinese Hang Seng rallied 0.99% to 22395.

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