U.S. stock index futures opened higher on Sunday, following a week in which major indices also rallied higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 3.4% last week, moving into positive territory for the year during Friday's session. The S&P 500 rose 3.3%, while the Nasdaq climbed 3.6%.
Pfizer (PFE) is set to receive formal board approval on Sunday for its proposed acquisition of Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust holding Allergan (AGN) for more than $150 billion, according to Reuters. If approved, the deal will represent the largest merger ever in the health care sector.
Based on valuation, investors should buy Allergan over Pfizer, Jim Cramer, portfolio manager of the Action Alerts PLUS , said on Friday. The two companies are moving closer to a merger and received a green light from the Treasury Department on Nov. 19.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer is also keeping an eye on GameStop (GME) Monday when the retailer releases it third-quarter earnings results before the opening bell. Cramer says, "The last quarter for GameStop was fabulous and then there was some intra-quarter chatter that maybe some games aren't selling well and some hardware is not selling well. I think [CEO] Paul Raines will put on a good face, but if this stock gets hammered you might want to buy it because then the dividend will be producing a fabulous yield. I think the company is doing a lot of good things away from games."
Over the weekend, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2," released by Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF), opened to the movie franchise's lowest opening weekend total, bringing in $101 million in the U.S. and Canada. Industry watchers Boxoffice.com were expecting the film to bring in $120 million this weekend.
On Sunday, CVC Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to purchase Petco Animal Supplies for about $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Separately, Barron's cover story this weekend chronicled Sarepta Therapeutics' (SRPT) and BioMarin Pharmaceutical's (BMRN) efforts to get regulatory approval for competing drugs that could slow the progression of the fatal disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
"The drama over Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD, involves innovative science, an impassioned patient-advocacy community, skeptical regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, dueling companies, and a huge market opportunity for investors," says Brian Skorney, an analyst with Baird in New York. "Not since the AIDS crisis of 1980s and early 1990s has there been so much patient pressure on the FDA to approve a drug.
"DMD is the biggest focus in biotechnology now," Skorney added. "There are a lot of stakeholders involved, which should make for a fascinating series of events."
Wall Street is keenly interested in the outcome because the potential market for a successful family of DMD drugs is large, at $3 billion-plus in annual U.S. sales and similar revenue potential abroad. The Sarepta and BioMarin drugs target about 13% of boys with DMD, with perhaps $600 million in annual U.S. sales potential, but they are developing drugs using similar technology that could treat at least 60% of those afflicted, the Barron's story said.
For more information on data and earnings in the week ahead, you can reference TheStreet's weekly earnings calendar.