U.S. futures were priced for a positive opening Monday following a rally by other world markets. All of the European markets were up, lead by Germany's DAX. All of the Asian markets closed in the green, with Japan's Nikkei up nearly 4%.
In London trading, the pound jumped vs. the dollar, and stock markets moved higher after one of the two remaining contestants in the fight for leadership of the ruling Conservative party announced she was stepping down. Current Home Secretary Theresa May remains alone in the race for leadership at the moment. If no other contestant appears, May is likely to become Prime Minister, ending weeks of uncertainty for the markets and possibly ensuring a swift process to trigger Article 50 for the EU Treaty, the first step in negotiations for the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU.
Nintendo (NTDOY) shares soared on Monday on high trading volume, leading the Asian market rally after the release of Pokémon GO. The Japanese company saw market-value gains of $7.5 billion in just two days, according to a Reuters report. The game was installed on more than 5% of Android devices in the U.S., Reuters reported citing web analytics firm SimilarWeb,.
Walmart (WMT) shares are poised to open the week higher as the company is set to roll out a new program to combat Amazon's (AMZN) Prime Day. Reuters reported that Walmart will offer free shipping with no minimum purchase on all online orders for five days starting on July 11. This comes as Amazon's second annual Prime Day event is set for July 12 and is expected to be bigger than last year, when it saw more sales than Black Friday. Amazon is a holding in the Growth Seeker portfolio.
Viacom's (VIAB) stock was downgraded by Wells Fargo analysts. In a research note Monday, the analysts said they anticipate a mixed quarter for the media company. On the positive side, they said they are looking for accelerating cable network ad growth and stability in affiliate fee growth. But on the negative side, they are looking at the deceleration in broadcast network advertising and a "pretty disappointing film slate." The analyst team downgraded the stock to Underperform from Market Perform, while maintaining their $38 to $40 value range, saying they "don't see how anyone can come in and successfully turn this [company] around over the next 12 [months]."
Bill Ackman's Pershing Square sold another 6 million shares of Zoetis (ZTS) , the animal health company that was spun off from Pfizer in 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, the sale cut Pershing Square's stake to about 3.8%, which is down from more than 8%. Zoetis stock has gained 1% year-to-date.