MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures rise as deals continue

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By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures stepped modestly higher Tuesday as investors embraced another round of deal-making and as economic data pointed to improving conditions in the U.S. and overseas.

After a round of M&A action roused Wall Street on Monday, drug developer Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!endp/quotes/nls/endp (ENDP 33.25, +2.64, +8.62%)  said Tuesday that it would acquire Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for $1.2 billion.

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“These deals and the recent increases in dividend payouts are a reminder that corporations are flush with cash,” Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote in a research note.

“The cash is out there for significant consolidation in the months to come,” Pado added.

Stock futures extended their mild advance after the S&P/Case-Shiller report found home prices rising 0.6% in July.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/19*!dy10z (DJZ10 10,790, +40.00, +0.37%)  added 31 points to 10,781.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f1:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,140, +2.50, +0.22%)  gained 3.4 points to 1,141.1, while Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,007, -0.25, -0.01%)  gained 10.25 points to 2,017.5.

The blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,838, +26.00, +0.24%)  dropped 0.4% Monday, but remains up 8% so far in September.

The Asian Development Bank hiked its outlook for the region’s economic growth this year, and a gauge of consumer confidence climbed in Germany.

The reports come ahead of data on U.S. consumer confidence later in the session.

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The Treasury is scheduled to sell $35 billion in 5-year notes.

On the corporate front, Walgreen Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!wag/quotes/nls/wag (WAG 33.59, +3.24, +10.68%)  reported a rise in fiscal fourth-quarter profit and expressed confidence in future earnings growth.

Research In Motion Ltd. /quotes/comstock/15*!rimm/quotes/nls/rimm (RIMM 46.60, -1.76, -3.64%)   /quotes/comstock/11t!rim (CA:RIM 48.22, -1.45, -2.92%)  will also be in the spotlight after it unveiled a touch-screen tablet device, called the BlackBerry PlayBook, late Monday.

Shares of Bank of Ireland /quotes/comstock/13*!ire/quotes/nls/ire (IRE 3.00, -0.19, -5.95%)  dropped in premarket trading on concerns over Ireland’s banking sector.

Commodity prices traded lower, with oil futures falling 65 cents to $75.87 a barrel in electronic trading on Globex. Gold futures dropped $10 to $1,288.80 an ounce.

The dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 78.92, -0.47, -0.59%)  , which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, traded at 79.431.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Polya Lesova is reporter for MarketWatch, based in Frankfurt.

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