Here are five things you must know for Monday, Feb. 25:
1. -- Stock Futures Rise as Trump Delays Tariffs on China-Made Goods
U.S. stock futures rose on Monday, Feb. 25, and global stocks were higher after Donald Trump said he would delay increasing tariffs on China-made goods, set to kick in on March 1, following "substantial progress" over two weeks of trade talks between Washington and Beijing.
Trump conveyed the message in a series of tweets on Sunday that also suggested he could hold a near-term meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, perhaps as soon as next month, in order to conclude the months-long negotiations.
"I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues," Trump said in a tweet. He added: "Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!"
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 147 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 12.55 points, and Nasdaq futures rose 47.25 points.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for January at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey for February at 10:30 a.m.
Earnings reports are expected Monday from Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ - Get Report) , Etsy Inc. (ETSY - Get Report) , Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC - Get Report) and Shake Shack Inc. (SHAK - Get Report) .
Later in the week, reports are expected from Home Depot Inc. (HD - Get Report) , Lowe's Cos. (LOW - Get Report) , Macy's Inc. (M - Get Report) , Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA - Get Report) , Square Inc. (SQ - Get Report) , J.C. Penney Co. (JCP - Get Report) and Best Buy Co. (BBY - Get Report) .
2. -- Roche to Buy Spark Therapeutics for $4.8 Billion
The price is nearly $3 billion more than Spark Therapeutics' market cap of $1.95 billion as of the close of trading Friday. The stock closed Friday at $51.56, and was rising 120% to $113.46 in premarket trading on Monday.
The all-cash deal is for $114.50 a share, or a total equity value of about $4.8 billion on a fully diluted basis, inclusive of about $500 million of projected net cash expected at close, Spark Therapeutics said.
"As the only biotechnology company that has successfully commercialized a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the U.S., we have built unmatched competencies in the discovery, development and delivery of genetic medicines. But the needs of patients and families living with genetic diseases are immediate and vast," said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, CEO of Spark Therapeutics, in a statement. "With its worldwide reach and extensive resources, Roche will help us accelerate the development of more gene therapies for more patients for more diseases and further expedite our vision of a world where no life is limited by genetic disease."
Roche said it was particularly interested in Spark Therapeutics' hemophilia therapy program.
3. -- Warren Buffett Wants to Make 'Elephant-Sized Acquisition'
Warren Buffett said his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A - Get Report) wants to make an "elephant-sized acquisition" with some of its $132 billion in liquidity, but can't do so right now because "prices are sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects."
"In the years ahead, we hope to move much of our excess liquidity into businesses that Berkshire will permanently own. The immediate prospects for that, however, are not good: Prices are sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects," Buffett wrote in his widely anticipated annual letter to Berkshire shareholders.
However, Buffett added that he and long-time Berkshire vice chairman, Charlie Munger, "continue, nevertheless, to hope for an elephant-sized acquisition. Even at our ages of 88 and 95 -- I'm the young one -- that prospect is what causes my heart and Charlie's to beat faster. (Just writing about the possibility of a huge purchase has caused my pulse rate to soar.)"
Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway "earned" $4 billion in 2018 under new accounting rules that skewed results from previous years and showed wild losses in the first and fourth quarters, as warned by Buffett in 2017.
The 2018 earnings included $24.8 billion in operating earnings, a $3 billion "non-cash loss from an impairment of intangible assets" -- mainly from equity interest in Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC - Get Report) , which took a beating last week -- and $2.8 billion in realized capital gains from the sale of investment securities. Most dramatic, under new accounting rules, the earnings also included a $20.6 billion "loss from a reduction in the amount of unrealized capital gains that existed" in Berkshire's investment holdings.
"A new GAAP rule requires us to include that last item in earnings. As I emphasized in the 2017 annual report, neither Berkshire's Vice Chairman, Charlie Munger, nor I believe that rule to be sensible," Buffett wrote in his annual letter.
- Warren Buffett Letter: Berkshire Earns $4 Billion Under New Accounting Rule
- Warren Buffett Has Worst Year Since 2001, Jabs Trump Over America First Policies
4. -- Kraft Heinz Reviews Options for Maxwell House - Report
Kraft Heinz has tapped investment bank Credit Suisse to review options for its Maxwell House coffee business, which could include a potential sale, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Based off valuations for other sales of consumer brands, a sale could fetch a price of at least $3 billion, the people told CNBC.
The sale of the coffee business will be one of a string of divestitures for Kraft Heinz as the food giant looks to reshape the empire put together by its private-equity backer 3G Capital, CNBC reported.
Shares of Kraft Heinz declined 27.5% on Friday after the company posted a fourth-quarter loss of nearly $13 billion, said it had received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and planned to slash its dividend. Shares fell a further 1% in premarket trading Monday.
5. -- 'Green Book' Wins Best Picture
The movie also won best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali and best original screenplay.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" star, Rami Malek, won best actor for his portrayal of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
Olivia Colman took home the prize for best actress for her role as Queen Anne in "The Favourite."