US Futures Gain Before Pivotal Year-End Fed Meet; M&A Deals Lift Equities

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U.S. stock futures were slightly higher by half a percent on Monday, ahead of the Federal Reserve policy-makers' two-day meeting starting tomorrow at which some economists say the Fed could opt to start tapering the $85-billion-a-month asset purchasing program on the back of economic data, including unemployment dropping to a 5-year low in November to 7%. More economists still expect nothing to happen until incoming Fed chairman Janet Yellen takes over from Ben Bernanke next year.

Meanwhile, out this morning was the New York State December manufacturing survey, which improved to 0.98 from -2.21 although it missed estimates of 4.50, and Q3 non-farm productivity, which rose to 3% compared to the 2.9% estimate. Labor costs fell 1.4%.

In equities, Sprint ( S ) rose more than 4% pre-bell on reports it is planning a bid for T-Mobile US ( TMUS ), potentially valued at more than $20 billion. Also, insurance company American International Group ( AIG ) said aircraft leasing company AerCap Holdings ( AER ) is acquiring its International Lease Finance Corporation for $5.4 billion in cash and shares. AIG added nearly 3% pre-bell and AER was higher nearly 34%. Twitter ( TWTR ) was down almost 2% after gaining nearly 30% last week on the back of expectations for improved advertising sales.

U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.57%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.58%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.52%

-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator up 0.38%

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 0.53%

Hang Seng up 0.51%

Shanghai Composite down 1.60%

FTSE-100 up 1.06%

DAX-30 up 1.71%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: higher

(+/-) Chip stocks: mixed

(+) Software stocks: higher

(+) Hardware stocks: higher

(+) Internet stocks: higher

(+) Drug stocks: higher

(+) Financial stocks: higher

(+/-) Retail stocks: unchanged

(+) Industrial stocks: higher

(+) Airlines: higher

(+) Autos: higher

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) LSI (+38.56%) Rises as AVG (+13.80%) acquires co for $6.6 billion

(+) BRD (+28.33%) Rises After PPP (-7.94%) acquires co for $208 million in stock

(+) AGEN (+33.20%) 90% of patients alive six months after brain cancer treatment

(+) BLRX (+27.84%) Initial leukemia drug results promising

(+) EBAY (+1.57%) Barron's pegs co as tech stock bargain

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) USU (-58.91%) Plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection



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: AER , AIG , S , TMUS

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