U.S. futures were priced for a lower opening on Monday ahead of this week's annual Fed monetary policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. European markets were all showing losses with a few hours until those markets close. Meanwhile, the Asian markets finished mixed, with the Nikkei and the Hang Seng showing small gains.
Crude oil was slipping Monday morning, with Brent Crude down 3% and West Texas Intermediate down 2.7%. Prices were dropping after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Longson wrote in a research note Monday that oil prices may continue to fluctuate in the lead up to the informal meeting of OPEC member countries in Algeria at the end of September. Longson believes that a "meaningful OPEC production agreement" is highly unlikely, citing too many headwinds and logistical challenges.
Pfizer (PFE) shares were sinking slightly in early trading after agreeing to acquire Medivation (MDVN) for $81.50 per share in cash, which represents a total enterprise value of approximately $14 billion. MDVN shares skyrocketed by nearly 20% on the news. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the merger, which is expected to be complete in the third or fourth quarter. Pfizer does not anticipate the transaction to affect its current 2016 financial guidance. "The addition of Medivation will strengthen Pfizer's Innovative Health business and accelerate its pathway to a leadership position in oncology, one of our key focus areas, which we believe will drive greater growth and scale of that business over the long-term," said Pfizer CEO Ian Read in a statement.
Shares of Valeant (VRX) were up about 4% in premarket trading on news that the company named a new CFO. The Canadian drugmaker named Paul Herendeen, former Zoetis (ZTS) CFO, to fill the position immediately. Herendeen replaces Robert Rosiello, who will remain at Valeant as executive vice president. "[Herendeen's] prior experience as a public company CFO, strong operational focus and disciplined approach to financial management make him the ideal choice to lead our finance function as we execute on our plans to stabilize and transform the company," said CEO Joseph Papa in a statement. "As we move forward, Paul and the other members of the executive management team will play vital roles in shaping the new Valeant."
Viacom (VIAB) made it official this weekend: CEO Philippe Dauman is out. In a statement issued on Saturday, Dauman will step down immediately as president and CEO, but will continue as a non-executive chairman until Sept. 13. Viacom's COO Thomas Dooley was named interim CEO through Sept. 30. Under the terms of the settlement, all lawsuits among them will be terminated. Viacom is also creating an expanded board of directors to include the five director elected in June by National Amusements (Sumner Redstone's company holds about 80% stake in both Viacom and CBS (CBS) .
Finally, with back-to-school season here, one Citi analyst is saying to put Foot Locker (FL) and Under Amour (UA) on your shopping list. Citi's Kate McShane believes that while shopping trends remain challenging, the athletic area continues to be an "intact" industry that can still capitalize on increased "casualization" and ongoing innovation. McShane picked Foot Locker as her top pick in the space. (Under Armour is a holding in the Growth Seeker portfolio).