Market Hustle: Stock Futures Rise on M&A News

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing higher Monday and European markets got a boost from the announcement of Pfizer's (PFE) renewed discussions with AstraZeneca (AZN).

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 63 points, or 92.54 points above fair value, to 16,387, S&P 500 futures were up 6.25 points, or 9 points above fair value, to 1,866.25, and Nasdaq futures were up 11.3 points, or 17.5 points above fair value, to 3,541.8.

  • The economic calendar on Monday includes pending home sales for March at 10 a.m. EDT. This month's Federal Reserve policy announcement will be made on Wednesday following a two-day meeting.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee is unlikely to make meaningful changes to its policy statement as it looks through the likely 1% quarter-over-quarter annualized pace of growth in the first quarter of 2014, Dominic Bryant, senior global and structural economist at BNP Paribas, said in a note.
  • Pfizer shares were higher by 2.5% and AstraZeneca was surging over 16% after Pfizer confirmed that it contacted AstraZeneca on April 26 seeking to renew discussions about the possibility of buying the latter for a possible $98.7 billion. European markets were broadly higher after news of the deal. FTSE 100 was up 0.4% while the DAX in Germany was up 0.75%.
  • Susser Holdings (SUSS) has agreed to be bought by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) in a deal worth about $1.8 billion. Furiex Pharmaceuticals (FURX) has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Forest Laboratories (FRX) for $1.1 billion in cash.
  • Comcast (CMCSA) was also poised for action after saying it would divest systems resulting in a loss of about 3.9 million video customers as part of its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC). Charter Communications (CHTR) will acquire about 1.4 million existing Time Warner Cable subscribers.
  • Geopolitical tensions remained elevated on Monday with G7 leaders saying that they could increase sanctions against Russia in the face of the Ukraine crisis. Media reports said they could begin implementing punitive moves as early as Monday.
  • U.S. markets traded lower Friday amid rising tension in Ukraine, while companies from Pandora (P) to Ford (F) disappointed on the earnings front. Consumer sentiment beat expectations, though service sector growth slowed.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

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