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Stock futures edged higher in the return from the long Labor Day weekend as markets continued to mull over the Federal Reserve's next big move.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.09%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.11%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.1%.
A weaker jobs report on Friday brought slight relief over diminished chances of a September rate hike, pushing benchmark indexes to clock modest gains. The chances of a September hike in interest rates from the Fed currently sit at 21%, according to CME Group Fed funds futures. September's chances were at 24% before the jobs report.
The Fed will next meet in two weeks. Fed members have recently taken a hawkish turn, shifting their tone to suggest another rate hike is warranted.
"The stock market has been in a narrowing trading range for the last 30 days and I would expect a 'wait and see' attitude until our Fed meeting," Rick Keller, chairman of the board at First Foundation, told TheStreet.
In deal news, General Electric (GE - Get Report) announced Tuesday it acquired two 3D printing companies in Europe for $1.4 billion. GE bought Arcam and SLM Solutions, both suppliers of additive manufacturing equipment, as it looks to bulk up the use of 3D printing in the manufacturing of jet engines and cars. GE E intends to maintain the headquarters and management for each company. GE shares rose 0.3% before the bell.
Cepheid (CPHD) shot more than 50% higher on Tuesday morning after Danaher Corp (DHR - Get Report) announced plans to purchase the diagnostics company in a deal worth roughly $4 billion. The offer values Cepheid at a 53% premium to its close on Friday. Cepheid reported total revenue of $539 million last year and expects sales to increase to $618 to $635 million this year.
Bayer (BAYRY) upped its offer for seed company Monsanto (MON) again overnight. The German chemicals company increased its offer to $127.50 a share, higher than $125 a share offered in July. Bayer first made a play for Monsanto on May 19. Monsanto said it was currently evaluating the latest offer.
Spectra Energy (SE - Get Report) increased 6% in premarket trading after agreeing to merge with Enbridge (ENB - Get Report) on Tuesday. The deal would form a company with a total value of $127 billion, marking it as the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
Marvell Technology (MRVL - Get Report) fell 6% after reporting disappointing sales in its recent quarter. Quarterly revenue sank 12% to $626.4 million, coming in short of consensus of $630 million. Adjusted profit beat estimates though, more than doubling to 18 cents a share from 7 cents a year earlier. Analysts expected 11 cents.
Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report) was upgraded to buy from hold at Jefferies. The firm said the move was a valuation call as the stock is trading at less than seven times earnings. Analysts also downgraded Biogen (BIIB - Get Report) to hold, another valuation call based on a $323 price target.