Stock Market Today - Mergers and Merger Talk Everywhere

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bonds were taking it on the chin this morning and European stocks and domestic equity markets futures were all lower as the Greece debt soap opera continues to concern investors, but the euro was stronger.

New York Fed president William Dudley said that the U.S. economic outlook is still too uncertain to point to when the Fed will start raising interest rates. These comments fueled the euro's strength against the dollar in early trading.

This morning Verizon (VZ) said it would buy AOL in a deal valued at $4.4 billion, as it offers $50 per share for AOL (AOL), a 17% premium to Monday's closing price.

The M&A rumorville this morning is abuzz, after the Wall Street Journal reported that Pall (PLL) was in the late stages of its auction process that is anticipated to bring a value to the company of at least $13 billion. The report states that Trifecta Stocks' Danaher (DHR) and Thermo Fisher (THO) are among the potential acquirers.

Pall was trading up over 30% in the pre-market on this news. Separately, US Foods says it will walk away from its merger deal with Sysco (SYY) if the courts delay the planned merger, as the FTC has requested more time to decide on the deal.

Notable earnings reports today include: International Flavors (IFF), McKesson (MCK), and Zillow (Z).

Today's economic calendar offers us the NFIB Small Business Optimism April report at 9 a.m. with consensus at 96. At 2 p.m. we will get the Monthly (April) Budget Statement with consensus at $138.0 billion. At 4:30 p.m. the API weekly oil inventories will be released.

Happy trading!

  • Dutch food retailer Ahold (AHONY) and Belgian retailer Delhaize (DEG) said they were in merger talks that would create one of the largest supermarket operators in the U.S. The deal is worth almost $26 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Jitters over Greece continued to sap confidence despite the country's payment of a tranche of debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Asian stocks were mostly lower and the euro was weaker Tuesday morning.
  • A wave of IPOs in China could reduce liquidity even further in a market already under scrutiny for leveraged bets, analysis by Reuters shows. Late on Friday, the securities regulator approved the IPOs of 20 companies, with each seeking to raise several hundred million yuan.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Russia for the first high-level visit of an U.S. official to the country in two years. Kerry will spend several hours in the Russian resort of Sochi on Tuesday before heading to Antalya, Turkey, for a Wednesday meeting with foreign ministers of North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations.
  • Most mid-sized SUVs tested by a safety group in the U.S. fared poorly, with the Dodge Journey the worst performer. Of the seven models tested, Nissan Motor's Murano and Fiat Chrysler's four-door Jeep Wrangler were the only vehicles to earn a "good" rating, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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