U.S. markets continued to trade in negative territory at midday amid global uncertainty. This week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting raises questions about future Fed rate hikes in the U.S. while the looming Brexit vote puts the focus on the stability of the European Union. Meanwhile, the price of crude oil is up slightly Monday at $49 a barrel, but has retreated since trading above $50 a barrel in recent weeks.
Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) announced plans to acquire LinkedIn (LNKD) in a $26.2 billion all-cash deal, which prices shares of LinkedIn at $196, representing a 47% premium to Friday's closing price. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2016 pending approval from LinkedIn's shareholders and other regulatory and customary closing conditions. In a statement announcing the deal, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, "The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world's professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet." Shares of Microsoft fell nearly 3% by midday.
McDonald's (MCD) will be moving its headquarters in downtown Chicago by 2018. The move, which is approximately 20 miles from the company's current headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., is expected to help the fast-food giant encourage innovation and retain talent. McDonald's was headquartered in Chicago from 1955 to 1971. Shares of the company were up just over 0.5% at midday.
Shares of Vodafone (VOD) were down nearly 2% after the U.K.-based telecom company was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by an analyst team at Macquarie Bank. The analysts wrote that Vodafone's recent efforts to do a joint-venture deal with Liberty Global (LBTYA) signaled a "desperation to do deals," according to a report from The Deal. Shares of Vodafone slipped last week as well after the company announced plans to merge with Sky Network in a $2.4 billion deal.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) was down nearly 3%, which was in line with the broader selloff in airline stocks in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Bloomberg's U.S. Airlines Index was down as much as 3.3% in midday trading. Analysts at Buckingham research noted that airlines may see "near-term" impacts from the shooting in Orlando.
-- Written by Carleton English