Stock futures turned narrowly higher on Monday, Nov. 20, as Wall Street was coming off two straight weeks of losses and heading into a shortened holiday week that could see little in the way of major movements.
Dow futures were up 11 points, or 0.05%, S&P 500 futures rose 1 point, or 0.02%, and Nasdaq futures increased 6 points, or 0.09%.
After stocks ceded gains for the second week in a row last week, investors now face a shortened Thanksgiving week light on both earnings and economic events. Markets will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving, and will open for a half-day of trading on Friday, Nov. 24.
Tax reform continues to occupy investors, pulling stocks back from recent highs even as the Republicans' tax bill made progress in the House of Representatives. Concerns still abound that tax legislation might not happen before lawmakers' Christmas break, as the House and the Senate still have differing proposals that have not yet been reconciled. There are no scheduled official events surrounding either tax reform bill this week.
In Europe, stocks traded mixed and the euro slipped as coalition government talks broke down in Germany over the weekend. The pro-business Free Democrats walked out of the talks, leaving Chancellor Angela Merkel with the likely option of having to form a minority government with the Green party or calling fresh elections in the new year.
For Monday, the economic calendar in the U.S.includes Leading Indicators for October at 10 a.m. ET.
Earnings reports are expected from Agilent Technologies Inc. (A - Get Report) , Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE - Get Report) , Intuit Inc. (INTU - Get Report) , Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW - Get Report) and Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN - Get Report) .
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA - Get Report) agreed to acquire a major stake in China's largest supermarket operator, Sun Art Retail Group, as the Chinese e-commerce giant continues its push into bricks-and-mortar retailing. Alibaba will pay just under $2 billion for a 36% stake in Sun Art Retail.
The deal could pit Alibaba against both Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) , the world's biggest online retailer, and Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT - Get Report) , the world's No. 1 bricks-and-mortar retailer.
Alibaba's move looks similar to Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Markets earlier this year and positions Alibaba at the forefront of a $500 billion food market in the world's second-largest economy and a global market worth more than $4 trillion.
Alibaba shares gained 1.24% to $187.42 premarket Monday.
In a deal that could create a more capable competitor for chip giants such as Intel Corp. (INTC - Get Report) and Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO - Get Report) , Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL - Get Report) has agreed to buy Cavium Inc. (CAVM) for about $6 billion.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Marvell will pay Cavium shareholders $40.00 in cash and 2.1757 Marvell common shares for each share of Cavium common stock, Marvell announced early Monday. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2018.
Cavium shares were rising 8.6% in premarket trading on Monday to $82.35.
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Get Report) is set to win "imminent" Japanese antitrust clearance for its $38 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI - Get Report) and gain approval in Europe by the end of the year with slight changes to its concessions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Gaining approval in Japan and Europe for its purchase of NXP could reinforce Qualcomm's fight against an unsolicited $103-billion takeover bid from Broadcom. Qualcomm has rejected the offer, saying it wasn't enough and even if it was the tie-up would likely face regulatory hurdles.
Bitcoin rose to a new all-time high on Sunday, Nov. 19, as the cryptocurrency surged above $8,100. CoinDesk's bitcoin price index showed it reached over that threshold to $8,101.91 between 3 p.m. ET and 3:15 p.m. on Sunday. By Monday morning, bitcoin was trading at $8,142.15 per coin.
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