M&A Activity Boosts U.S. Stock Futures

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures climbed higher on Monday as traders focused on a jolt of M&A activity and shrugged off tension in Eastern Europe.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:58 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 41 points, or 0.25%, to 16364, S&P 500 futures advanced 3 points, or 0.16%, to 1863 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 3 points, or 0.16%, to 3534.

The S&P 500 capped last week with a loss, its second in the past three. The sudden downward turn Friday was driven by concerns about the terse situation between Russia and the Western world. News the U.S. is going to strike Russia with additional sanctions initially sparked another hit to sentiment, sending Asian shares lower.

However, corporate news helped lift U.S. stock-index futures and European shares. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) officially said it made a nearly $100 billion bid to buy AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) earlier this year, and said earlier this month it is still pursuing talks with the company.

Forest Laboratories (NYSE:FRX) said it would buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:FURX) in a deal valued at just south of $1.5 billion. Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) officially called off merger talks with Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX), Barrick said in a press release.

Several big earnings reports are due out this week, including ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

On the economic front, pending home sales are forecast to have climbed by 0.7% in March from the month prior. The gauge is generally seen as a somewhat strong indicator of existing-home sales.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 60 cents, or 0.6%, to $101.20 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline gained 0.01% to $3.075 a gallon. Gold was flat at $1,301 a troy ounce.

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