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Pre-Market: BSkyB Confirms Possible Deal With Fox; China Must Adapt to New Normal


Fed President Plosser will be speaking at noon.

Stock futures pointed toward a higher open on Monday morning. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.31% to 16,579. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were up 0.35% to 1,879.90. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.51% to 3,566.25.


British Sky Broadcasting (OTCMKTS:BSYBY) has confirmed it's in early talks with Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) to acquire Fox-owned pay-TV assets Sky Deutschland (OTCMKTS:SKDTY) and Sky Italia. The deal, estimated to be worth about $13.8 billion, would transform BSkyB into a European satellite-TV giant, and would give Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch full control of the combined company. According to The Telegraph, the UK's independent communications regulator Ofcom plans to block the deal. Shares of Fox were up 0.29% in pre-market trading.

In other TV-related news, upfronts season kicks off today. Major television players including Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)-owned NBCUniversal, Disney (NYSE:DIS)-owned ABC, CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Fox release their fall programming schedules and try to sell as much advertising space to Madison Avenue as they can. The volume of ad commitments made during upfronts has been considerably low over the past three years, Brian Steinberg points out in Variety, with non-TV video alternatives giving networks more bargaining leverage.

California-based health-care company Allergan (NYSE:AGN) has reportedly been turned down by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) after it solicited buyout offers following a $45.7 billion takeover bid from Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals earlier this month. Allergan is seeking alternative options because it's unhappy with Valeant's offer, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg. Shares of Allergan were up 0.12% in pre-market trading.


A light economic calendar today leads with Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser giving a speech on economic trends at 12:00 p.m. EDT. The Treasury will release its monthly budget at 2:00 p.m.

Global Markets

Asian stocks outside of Japan saw strong gains on Monday. In China, President Xi Jinping said the country needs to adapt to a "new normal" when it comes to slower economic growth. Many took Xi's words to mean economic reform was on its way, which drove the SSE Composite Index's (SHA:000001) biggest gain in seven weeks. The gains weren't felt in Japan, after the country reported a much weaker-than-expected current accounts surplus. In India, stocks rallied, and the country's benchmark Nifty index hit a record high amid speculation that the winner of the world's largest election would be the country's main opposition party.

In Europe, stocks gains were led by the mining sector, which received an upgrade by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM). In the UK, the number of billionaires are on the rise, with the current 104 billionaires in England beating out last year's 88. Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels declared a victory in a referendum on self-rule for the region, and Russia said it backed any secession efforts. Continued tensions in the region could lead Saudi Arabia to increase its oil output, the country's oil minister said today. 

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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