Futures Buoyed By Drug Mergers, Economic Data Outlook, More Positive Earnings

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Stock futures were building constructive gains into the open, fueled by mergers in the pharmaceutical sector, forecasts for bullish pending home sales and expectations for more upbeat earnings this week.

Merger-mania kicked off with a revised offer by Pfizer ( PFE ) for the UK's AstraZeneca ( AZN ). The $100 billion offer dwarfs the $1.1 billion bid by Forest Labs ( FRX ) for Furiex Pharmaceuticals ( FURX ). In addition, General Electric ( GE ) is looking to buy France's Alstom SA's turbine division.

Later this morning, the National Association of Realtors is expected to report that pending home sales rose 0.6% in March, reversing a 0.8% drop in sales the month prior. Also the Dallas Federal Reserve is forecasting an increase in their index measuring manufacturing activity to 6.0 in April from 4.9 in March.


Before the opening bell, Charter Communications (CHTR) and Loews Corp (L) both missed earnings estimates, although Corning (GLW) beat on both earnings and revenue.

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.26%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.20%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.13%

SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 0.98%

Hang Seng down 0.41%

Shanghai Composite down 1.62%

FTSE-100 up 0.44%

DAX-30 up 0.81%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: higher

(+) Chip stocks: higher

(+) Software stocks: higher

(+) Hardware stocks: higher

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(+) Drug stocks: higher

(+) Financial stocks: mixed

(+) Retail stocks: higher

(+) Industrial stocks: higher

(+) Airlines: higher

(+) Autos higher

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) AGEN (+10.16%) Struck a collaboration and license deal with Merck (MRK) worth $100 million in potential payments.

(+) FURX (+19.83%) Acquired by Forest Laboratories ( FRX ) for $1.1 billion

(+) AZN (+15.86%) Pfizer ( PFE ) offers $100 bln

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) BAC (-2.7%) Suspended its capital plan and dividend increase following downward revisions to financial reserves required by regulators.

(-) ATHX (-56.04%) Interim results from the Phase 2 clinical study of the administration of MultiStem cell therapy failed to show meaningful benefit

(-) POZN (-12.05%) FDA won't approve a new drug application for its aspirin and omeprazole delayed release tablets after finding inspection deficiencies.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: PFE , AZN , FRX , FURX , GE

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