Investors were largely unfazed by indications of a slowdown in U.S. services sector output growth, as underlying data appeared upbeat.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were rising 25 points, or 38.7 points above fair value, to 16,118. S&P 500 futures were up 4.25 points, or 4.7 points above fair value, to 1,838.5. Nasdaq futures were up 9.5 points, or 12.4 points above fair value, to 3,674.
- Men's Wearhouse was popping more than 6% to $48.01 and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers was jumping nearly 8% to $59.40 after Men's Wearhouse said that it has increased its cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Jos. A. Bank to $63.50 a share from $57.50 a share.
- RF Micro Devices (RFMD) was surging 24.78% to $7.25 and TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT) was soaring 28.6% to $11.89 after the two announced an all-stock merger agreement creating a new company with combined revenue of more than $2 billion and representing an implied price of $9.73 for each TriQuint share, representing a 5.4% premium for TriQuint investors.
- Boeing (BA) shares were trading slightly higher after the company said that members of the machinists' union in St. Louis have approved a long-term contract extension intended to better position Boeing to compete for work that's critical to its St. Louis site's future.
- United Technologies (UTX) was edging up after Reuters reported that the company's Sikorsky Aircraft division plans to layoff 600 workers, citing challenging and unstable economic conditions.
- The Markit Flash U.S. Services PMI Business Activity Index registered 52.7 in February, down from a four-month high of 56.7 in January. Markit reported that service sector output growth slowed amid weather disruptions in February, and added that new business volumes actually continued to rise at a "robust" pace. Combined with continued job hiring, indications are that "underlying demand remained resilient."
- The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey for February will be released at 10:30 a.m. EST.
- On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will testify before the Senate Banking Committee.
- Many international markets were trading lower on Monday following Chinese media reports that said banks in China were tightening lending to property developers and after data showed a slowdown in January in Chinese new-home price growth for the first time in more than a year.
- The Shanghai Composite closed down by 1.75%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished off 0.8%, and Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.19%. The FTSE in the U.K. and DAX in Germany were down on the heels of the losses in Asia, off 0.21% and 0.03%, respectively, and paring losses amid an upbeat February German business confidence reading, which rose to its highest level since July 2011.
- Ukrainian equities were rallying after President Viktor Yanukovych was voted out by parliament following his signing of a deal with opposition leaders amid efforts to dissolve the country's tensions.
- U.S. stocks dropped on Friday as comments from the Federal Reserve suggested that the central bank will continue to scale back its economic stimulus program. "U.S. equities have now recovered all of the emerging market related declines, as has the MSCI World Index, but at 1840 or so, the S&P 500 is simply back to where it spent the three weeks prior to the dip," Dan Greenhaus, the New York-based chief strategist at BTIG, commented in a client note.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York
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