Futures Up on Deals News

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures tracked global markets higher Monday after China refrained from hiking interest rates over the weekend. Expectations that a tax deal will clear a Senate vote on Monday and a spate of deals news were also supporting U.S. futures.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 46 points, or 48 points above fair value, at 11,390. Futures for the S&P 500 were 5 points higher, or 6 points above fair value, at 1,241, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 9 points, or 10 points above fair value.

Although inflation in China jumped to a 28-month high of 5.1% in November , Chinese policymakers kept interest rates unchanged but promised prudent policies to keep growth in check.

A divisive extension to the Bush-era tax cuts is expected to pass a Senate vote on Monday, although the bill's fate in the House remains uncertain. House Democrats have signaled that they intend to see whether they can increase the estate tax rate from the agreement's level of 35%.

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7% and Japan's Nikkei gained 0.8%. The FTSE in London was up by 1% and the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.5%.

Stocks ended Friday's session slightly higher as the market weighed a stronger-than-expected consumer sentiment reading in December against China's increase in banks' reserve requirements.

Shares of General Electric ( GE) were up by 0.7% to $17.85 on its offer to buy Wellstream Holdings, a U.K.-based maker of oil and gas pipeline products, for 800 million pounds, or $1.3 billion.

Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO) agreed to buy Dionex ( DNEX), a maker of products used by industrial, research and laboratory markets, for $118.50 per share in cash, or $2.1 billion. Dionex's stock was up 19.9% to $117.75 in premarket trading and Thermo Fisher's stock was ahead by 2.3% to $54.25.

After upping its bid for data storage company Compellent ( CML) by 25 cents per share, Dell ( DELL) signed an acquisition agreement with the company worth $960 million, or $820 million excluding the cash on Compellent's books. Dell's stock was down 0.7% to $13.79 in early trading and Compellent's stock was off by 2.5% at $27.99.

Supermarket operater Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea ( GAP) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, listing debts of more than $3.2 billion and assets of roughly $2.5 billion in its bankruptcy court petition.

There are no economic releases scheduled during Monday's session.
Stock

In commodity markets, the January crude oil contract was up by $1.56 to trade at $89.35 a barrel after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept production caps in place despite an improved economic outlook. The most actively traded February gold contract traded $12.10 higher to $1,397 an ounce.

The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.2%.The benchmark 10-year Treasury note declined 12/32, lifting the yield to 3.369%.

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-- Written by Melinda Peer in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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