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Pre-Market Primer: Amgen, Inc. to Acquire Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Durable Goods Order Plunge

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In pre-market trading, Microsoft shares slipped after ending Friday up on news that Steve Ballmer will retire within a year.

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Stocks are set to fall today as durable goods orders fell far short of expectations in July.

After ending with gains last week when disappointing new home sales rose hopes that the Fed might scale back its bond purchases later rather than sooner, stock futures are lower before the opening bell. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were down 0.16% to 14,966 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 0.13% to 1,659.20. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures slipped 0.02% to 3,120.75.

Durable goods orders in July declined 7.3% after rising 4.2% in June on lower transportation orders. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.6%. Economists expected a more modest 4% drop, partly attributed to fewer bookings for Boeing (NYSE:BA).

This kicks off a rather busy week for economic indicators, including the Case-Shiller home price index and pending home sales.

In pre-market trading, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares slipped 0.7% after ending Friday up 7.3% on news that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within a year. Ballmer has been with the firm since its inception, and acted as CEO since 2000. So far, there is only speculation as to who will succeed him.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) shares jumped 5.1% on news that it will acquire Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ONXX) for $10.4 billion or $125 per share, up from its previous offer of $120 per share. Shares of Onyx also rose 5.8%. The crown jewel of Amgen is Kyprolis, a treatment for multiple myeloma.

European indices fell on Monday. Italian stocks are down as members of Silvio Berlusconi's party threatened to leave the ruling coalition and take down the government if the Senate kicks Berlusconi out. The former prime minister was just convicted of tax fraud.

Asian stocks mostly closed higher and emerging markets calmed. At the Jackson Hole summit, Federal Reserve members said that emerging markets should not be concerned for the effects of their policy changes outside of the United States, according to the Fed charter. Other central bankers said that emerging countries can still rely on lax policy from Japan, the UK, and eurozone to support markets.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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