MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Opening View: Staples and Corporate Express Finally Strike a Deal

U.S. stock futures are higher heading into the open, indicative of a potentially positive start to the regular session. In overseas trading, the weakening yen helped boost exporters in Japan, while retail and home-building firms were taking a hit in Europe. In focus this morning are merger-and-acquisition news for Staples and Corporate Express, a cash-raising strategy for PetroChina, and the latest mortgage-related stats.

The fourth time's the charm for Staples (SPLS: View sentiment for SPLSsentiment, chart, options) and Dutch firm Corporate Express (CXP: View sentiment for CXPsentiment, chart, options) . After a trio of failed bids, SPLS will purchase CXP for $14.30 per share (the stock closed at $14 on Tuesday), in a deal that values the company at $2.6 billion. In the meantime, CXP announced it would withdraw its bid for Lyreco, paying its French peer a breakup fee of 30 million euros. Ahead of the open, the shares of SPLS are poised to open marginally higher than their Tuesday close of $23.15.

Chinese oil firm PetroChina (PTR: View sentiment for PTRsentiment, chart, options) this morning announced plans to sell $8.7 billion worth of bonds in order to optimize its debt and structure and supplement its working capital, MarketWatch reported. The bonds will reportedly have a maturity of up to 15 years, with PTR utilizing the profit to meet its intermediate- and long-term funding requirements. The plan, already approved by PTR's board, is subject to shareholder approval.

Turning to housing-related news, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications filed in the week ended June 6 jumped 10.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week prior. Compared to a year earlier, mortgage applications are down 16.5%. Refinancing applications muscled 8.4% higher in the latest week, with filings for mortgages to purchase homes expanding a seasonally adjusted 12.8%.


Opening View: Staples and Corporate Express Finally Strike a Deal

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