Stocks were headed for a higher open Tuesday as Wall Street was greeted with a host of merger news ahead of the
Futures on the
were trading about 5 points above fair value, and the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 4.5-point gain.
The financial markets are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this afternoon's meeting of the
Federal Open Market Committee
, the policymaking arm of the Fed. Most pundits believe the committee will finally take a break from its two-year rate-hiking campaign and leave the fed funds target at 5.25%.
Going back to June 2004, the Fed has raised rates by a quarter-point at 17 straight meetings. Even though many observers expect the Fed to pause, they haven't ruled out the possibility that more rate increases could be implemented later. For months, the market has been obsessed with the central bank and its efforts to find the balance between keeping inflation under control while at the same time not creating an economic slowdown.
Earnings season is winding down, but corporate deals were heating up. The headliner of the day saw a merger between two data-storage outfits, with
agreeing to acquire
for $713 million in stock. Brocade's shareholders will own 70% of the combined company's stock. Brocade also guided higher for the fiscal third quarter.
said it would buy
for $4.50 a share in cash, or $60 million, in order to give users of its products more options for listening to music. Additionally,
disclosed plans to take over rival
for $10.65 a share, or $281 million in cash.
After the close, networking giant Cisco will report its quarterly earnings. Analysts are looking for a fourth-quarter adjusted profit of 28 cents a share, up from 25 cents a year ago, on $7.9 billion in sales.
To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take on today's market, click here
On the research front, Banc of America cut its price target on PC maker
to $22 from $25.