In the Headlines
The new week gets under way with traders sending Wall Street futures higher early Monday.
The upside trade comes as Google (GOOG) announced a vertical integration move, with a $12.5 billion acquisition of wireless-handset maker Motorola Mobility (MMI).
Investors also kept shares trading in positive territory as they awaited economic data on manufacturing and housing.
On the heels of last week's huge percentage swings on the major indices, global markets appeared calmer -- for now, anyway.
Asian stocks finished Monday's session mostly higher. Japan's GDP for the second quarter came in better than expected. The economy was still shrinking, but at a slower rate than economists had feared. The nation is making gains in ramping up its industrial production following the earthquake and subsequent disasters in March.
In Europe, stocks were trading to the upside early Monday. Over the weekend, Italy's finance minister floated the idea of a Eurobond, which would spread the debt load among the region's nations. The idea was quickly shot down by Germany's finance minister, who said such a move would further weaken fiscal discipline in the eurozone.
A German government spokesperson said the idea of Eurobonds is not on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting between the German and French prime ministers. The spokesperson also said no major measures are expected to be announced at the meeting, possibly dashing hopes that Germany and France would take steps that would calm market volatility.
The Swiss franc, which investors have perceived as an anti-euro safe-haven trade, fell early Monday. Switzerland's central bank said it would take steps to rein in the currency's strength.
The euro traded higher against the dollar ahead of Wall Street's open. Crude oil was down $0.18 to $85.20 per barrel. Meanwhile, gold fell $1.90 to $1,740.70 per ounce.
Today's economic reports include the New York Fed's Empire State manufacturing index for August, due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT. It's expected to show a negative number, but a slight uptick from July's reading of -3.76. These data will likely be closely watched for clues of economic strength that can be extrapolated nationwide.
At 10 a.m. is the National Association of Home Builders' August housing index. This is a sentiment index, showing builders' level of optimism or pessimism. Analysts expect the result to be unchanged from last month's level of 15, a bearish number.
In deal news, Google said it would pay $40 per share for Motorola Mobility. It plans to run the handset manufacturing unit as part of its Android unit. The move puts Google on par with Apple (AAPL), which makes both the hardware and software for its iPhones.
In the press release announcing the deal, Google said its Android platform would remain open to other manufacturers, which include Samsung and HTC.
Google shares fell $13.28, 2.36%, to $550.49 ahead of the bell.
In the premarket, Motorola Mobility bolted $14.55 higher, a whopping 59.46%, to $39.02 on the news.
Home-improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) reported second-quarter revenue that missed views. Sales came in at $14.5 billion, vs. views of $14.751 billion. Earnings per share were $0.68, topping views of $0.66.
Lowe's shares rose $0.07, 0.36%, to $19.58 in premarket trade.
Cosmetics maker Estee Lauder (EL) is due out with fiscal fourth-quarter results. It's expected to earn $0.24 a share on revenue of $2.03 billion. That would be a year-over-year earnings decline, but an increase in sales.
Also coming in with quarterly results is wholesale food and restaurant supplier Sysco (SYY). Analysts expect net income of $0.57 per share, and sales of $10.36 billion.
Sysco shares are down 4.3% so far in August, and closed Friday below their 40-week moving average.
After today's closing bell, clothing retailer Urban Outfitters (URBN) is expected to report per-share earnings of $0.32 for the second quarter. Revenue is seen coming in at $604.46 million.
The stock has struggled since retreating from its all-time high of $40.84 in April of last year. It's showing a year-to-date loss of 17.32%.
Premarket movers Monday included Bank of America (BAC), advancing $0.23, 3.20%, to $7.42 on news that it would exit its international credit card business.
The company said it would sell its Canadian business to TD Bank Group (TD). Bank of America also plans to divest its U.K. and Ireland-based credit card units.
Among analyst actions ahead of Monday's open was a Ticonderoga upgrade of General Motors (GM) to Buy from Neutral. GM shares are working on their fourth month in a row of downside trade. They were up $0.29, 1.13%, to $26.04 in early trade.