Day Ahead: Actavis Buys Forest Labs

 | Feb 18, 2014 | 8:30 AM EST
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U.S. equities futures were trending higher Tuesday morning, coming off a Friday rally that capped off the best week of the year for the major indices. European stocks were wavering this morning following a survey that indicated German investors were wary about the outlook for the eurozone's largest economy. And Asian markets closed mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 showing surprising strength.

In company news, Actavis (ACT) said it is acquiring rival drugmaker Forest Labs (FRX) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $25 billion. Forest Labs shares leapt more than 30% in premarket trading, while Actavis shares added 15%.

King Digital Entertainment, maker of the popular Candy Crush Saga online game, has filed for an initial public offering worth about $500 million with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In earnings news, Coca-Cola (KO) reported in-line net income for the fourth quarter on declining sales that missed expectations. Medtronic's (MDT) top- and bottom-line results likewise met estimates. Waste Management (WM) earnings, meanwhile, missed expectations by a nickel per share.

After the close, CF Industries (CF), Fluor (FLR), Herbalife (HLF), La-Z-Boy (LZB) and Panera (PNRA) are among the companies due to release earnings results.

The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State Manufacturing Survey dropped significantly in February, to 4.48 from 12.51 in the prior month. Look for the housing market index from the National Association of Home Builders at 10 a.m. EST.

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volatility is quite low here, and we could see some downsides here in the short term. ...



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