US Stock Futures Gain Ahead Of Home-Sales Data
US stock futures rose in early pre-market trade, ahead of home-sales data. Data on new home sales for December will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET, while the Dallas Fed general business activity index for January will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 32 points to 15,848.00, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index futures gained 7.90 points to 1,790.00. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 7.50 points to 3,539.75.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today, with the Spanish Ibex Index falling 0.84%, London's FTSE 100 index dropping 3.06% and STOXX Europe 600 Index declining 0.78%. German DAX 30 index fell 0.34% and French CAC 40 Index dropped 0.03%.
Asian markets ended lower today. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 2.51%, China's Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.03%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 2.11% and India's BSE Sensex fell 2.02%. Japan's trade deficit widened to 1.302 trillion yen ($12.8 billion) in December. The country's exports climbed 15.3% y/y, while imports rose 24.7%.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded Merck & Company (NYSE: MRK) from “underweight” to “overweight.” The target price for Merck & Company is set to $60.
Merck's shares closed at $51.98 on Friday.
- Teamsters working for YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ: YRCW) have approved a tentative agreement aimed at protecting more than 30,000 jobs. To read the full news, click here.
- Sedgwick Claims Management Services announced today that KKR (NYSE: KKR), together with management, have signed an agreement to acquire majority ownership of Sedgwick for approximately $2.4 billion from its current group of investors, which includes Hellman & Friedman LLC and Stone Point Capital LLC. To read the full news, click here.
- Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) reported a 44% rise in its fourth-quarter profit. Caterpillar's quarterly profit surged to $1 billion, or $1.54 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $697 million, or $1.04 per share. To read the full news, click here.
- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has entered into a three-year agreement worth an estimated $515 million for Varian to supply medical imaging components to Toshiba Medical Systems for integration into imaging equipment for the global market. Orders will be booked over the period of the agreement. To read the full news, click here.
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