Monday, March 21, 2011

US Stock Futures Rise On M&A Activity, Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) Eyed

US stock-index futures pointed to higher open on Monday as a fresh round of merger and acquisition activity lifted investor sentiment. . 

At 8:53 am ET, the S&P 500 futures rose 14.70 points to 1288.90. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures climbed 112 points to 11,911. The Nasdaq Composite futures advanced 27 points to 2,248.50.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) on Sunday agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at about $39 billion, creating America’s largest mobile-phone operator. AT&T shares surged more than 5% in Monday's pre-market trading. Shares of Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) slumped more than 11% before the opening bell.

Shares of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) rallied more than 5% after the Jewellery retailer reported that its fourth-quarter profit climbed to $181.2 million, or $1.41 a share, from $140.4 million, or $1.10 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 12% to $1.1 billion from $981.38 million. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of $1.39 per share on revenue of $1.10 billion. 

Shares of Qualcomm Inc (NASDAQ: QCOM) rallied more than 2% in Monday's pre-market trading after Sterne Agee upgraded its rating on the stock to Buy from Neutral

European stocks advanced in afternoon trade. At 13:14 pm, the UK FTSE rose 72.321 points or 1.26% to 5,790.45. The German DAX and French CAC increased 2.04% and 1.96% respectively.

Asian stocks finished higher. The Nikkei 225 gained 244.08 points or 2.72% to 9,206.75. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong jumped 384.99 points or 1.73% to 22,685.22.

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