Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, July 29:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing lower Monday ahead of a two-day meeting this week of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. jobs report for July on Friday.

European stocks were trading trading mixed Monday while Asian shares ended the session with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 index dropped 3.3% to 13,661.13, as the yen rose.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes pending home sales for June at 10 a.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Friday rose but posted their first weekly decline in July as investors balked at surpassing the 1,700 level on the S&P 500, unsure about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery and the Federal Reserve's commitment to maintain its stimulus program.

The S&P 500 rose 0.08% on Friday to 1,691.65 but slipped 0.03% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.02% to 15,559.20, and added 0.1% for the week. The Nasdaq finished up 0.22% at 3,613.16 and gained 0.22% for the week.

4. -- Omnicom ( OMC) and France's Publicis agreed to a merger that would create the world's largest advertising firm.

The deal -- which combines the companies in a "merger of equals" -- is valued at around $35.1 billion.

The combined company will be called Publicis Omnicom Group and be led jointly by Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy as co-chief executives.

The companies said they expect the deal to overcome any regulatory hurdles in the U.S. and Europe. They also would have to overcome any client conflicts since rivals such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, and Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, now find themselves under the same umbrella.

5. -- Michigan-based drugmaker Perrigo ( PRGO) reached a deal to buy Ireland's Elan ( ELN) for $8.6 billion.

Perrigo said it will pay Elan investors $6.25 a share in cash and $10.25 in Perrigo stock. The deal is 11% premium over Elan's closing price Friday.

Perrigo said it will become an Irish-based company and said it could cut its tax liabilities nearly in half, saving more than $150 million a year.

6. -- JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) said it will explore the sale of its physical commodities business.

Other strategic alternatives include a spinoff or a strategic partnership.

JPMorgan said Friday that during the process it will continue to operate the business as a going concern. The bank also said it remains committed to traditional activities in the commodities market, including financial derivatives and the vaulting and trading of precious metals.

7. -- Apple ( AAPL) veteran Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of technologies, "is no longer going to be on Apple's executive team" but will remain at the iPod and iPhone maker "working on special projects" reporting to Tim Cook, an Apple spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper noted that on Sunday Mansfield's biography information had disappeared from the company's Web site. The Journal said Apple in the past has removed biographies from its Web site as executive shakeups happen.

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