Stock Market Today: S&P Index Eyes 2,000 as Deals Heat Up

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The market appears to have worked through a short-term pullback, setting the S&P 500 up to resume its climb toward 2,000.

U.S. stock index futures were trading higher Monday after a tepid finish to Friday, stoked by a raft of deals headlines and tracking European market gains.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 41 points, or 55.78 points above fair value, to 17,034. S&P 500 futures were up 5.75 points, or 7.85 points above fair value, to 1,993.5. Nasdaq futures were up 15.2 points, or 18.45 points above fair value, to 4,070.

"This morning, futures are quoting meaningfully higher, suggesting the market may register a new all-time high at the open," said Piper Jaffray technical market strategist Craig Johnson.

Major U.S. stock indices finished higher for the week but mostly settled on a muted note on Friday as markets digested as-expected dovish remarks from Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen and as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi offered no new surprises on ECB monetary policy, sticking to his usual script of standing ready to adjust policy further.

Positive economic news and traders front-running the view that Yellen would stay dovish pushed the broader market higher to its best weekly return in the last four months.

European stocks on Monday rose following Draghi's remarks. Asian markets were also up. In Tokyo, the Nikkei advanced 0.48% to 15,613, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng added 0.22% to 25,166.91.

U.S. new home sales data for July are expected at 10 a.m. EDT, while the August Markit PMI "flash" services index will be out at 9:45 a.m. The August Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey will arrive at 10:30 a.m.

Deals news was heating up Monday. Burger King (BKW) is in talks to buy Tim Hortons (THI) , the Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain, and form a new publicly listed company based in Canada. Burger King surged nearly 7% in premarket trading to $29 and Tim Hortons soared 14.04% to $71.66.

Roche (RHHBY) announced Sunday an $8.3 billion acquisition of InterMune (ITMN) and its idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug Esbriet. InterMune jumped 36.34% to $73.35.

Engine Capital LP, which along with a partner controls more than 1% of Ann (ANN) stock, believes a strategic or private-equity buyer would be willing to pay between $50 and $55 a share for the women's retailer, 47% above Friday's closing price of $37.52 at the high end, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Sony (SNE) said its PlayStation Network was unusable from Sunday until Monday afternoon after being flooded by an online attack.

--By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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