CVS Buys Aetna, Dow Is Ready to Rally - 5 Things You Must Know

Here are five things you must know for Monday, Dec. 4:

1. -- U.S. stock futures surged on Monday, Dec. 4, and it looked as if the Dow Jones Industrial Average would jump more than 200 points at the open of trading as investors reacted to the passage of the Senate tax bill that could both sharply increase corporate profitability and accelerate bets on near-term rate hikes.
 
European stocks followed Wall Street higher, while Asian shares finished the session mixed.
 
The U.S. dollar surged against a basket of its global peers and U.S. Treasury bond yields breached what could be a technically significant level on Monday as global investors reacted to the passage of the Senate tax reform bill late Friday that could lead to recalibration of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

Stocks tumbled on Friday, Dec. 1, after Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser to Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and said he would cooperate with the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The Dow fell 41 points, or 0.17%, to close at 24,231. At one point Friday, the Dow declined 350 points. The S&P 500 fell 0.21% and the Nasdaq declined 0.38%. 

For Monday, the  economic calendar in the U.S. includes Factory Orders for October at 10 a.m. ET.
 
Earnings reports are expected Monday from Ascena Retail Group Inc. ( ASNA)  and Bob Evans Farms Inc. ( BOBE) . 
 
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2. -- CVS Health Corp. ( CVS)  reached a deal on Sunday, Dec. 3, to buy Aetna Inc. ( AET) for $69 billion, or $207 a share in cash and stock.
 
Under the terms of the deal, Aetna shareholders will receive $145 a share in cash and 0.8378 a CVS share for each Aetna share.
 
Aetna shares were rising 2% in premarket trading to $185. CVS fell 2% to $73.62.
 
"This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies to remake the consumer health care experience," said CVS President and CEO Larry J. Merlo in a statement. "With the analytics of Aetna and CVS Health's human touch, we will create a healthcare platform built around individuals." 

The deal is expected to be completed in the second half of next year. CVS shareholders will own about 78% of the combined entity and Aetna shareholders will own 22%. 

Aetna will become a stand-alone unit within CVS and will be led by members of its current management team. Three of Aetna's directors, including Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini, will join the board of CVS.

3. -- Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO) will take its first formal step on Monday toward a hostile bid to take over Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) , unveiling nominees whom Qualcomm shareholders can vote on to replace the semiconductor comapny's board, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

4. -- Walt Disney Co. (DIS) , the owner of ESPN and Disneyland, has restarted discussions with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) to buy up some of the media empire's assets, according to a new weekend report from The Wall Street Journal.

Talks are reportedly focused on Fox's movie and TV studio businesses, overseas assets such as Fox's 39% interest in Sky PLC and several U.S. cable networks. Fox News and the Fox broadcast network aren't expected to be unloaded, according to the Journal.

As TheStreet reported in November, Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)  also has shown interest in several of Fox's assets.

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Disney shares rose 0.7% in premarket trading on Monday. Fox shares were inactive in premarket trading after falling 1.5% in after-hours trading on Friday. 

5. -- President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela announced his country, which is experiencing an economic collapse, would create a cryptocurrency, dubbed "the Petro," as a way to defeat the "financial blockade" imposed by U.S. sanctions on his regime, CNN Money reported.

Maduro said the Venezuelan cryptocurrency would be backed by the country's oil, gold, gas and diamond reserves. Venezuela has the world's largest crude oil reserves, but its production has steadily declined to a 13-year low after companies halted some operations because of unpaid bills, CNN Money noted.

This story has been updated from 6:02 a.m. ET.

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