In Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels voted in favor of
self-rule in eastern regions of the country in a referendum
dismissed by Kiev and Western governments as illegal.
Separately, the European Union is set to step up pressure on
Russia by taking steps to extend sanctions to companies, as well
In the latest deal news, Hillshire Brands Co <HSH.N> agreed to
buy Pinnacle Foods Inc <PF.N> for about $6.6 billion while the
board of Allergan <AGN.N> rejected an unsolicited proposal from
Valeant <VRX.TO>, saying it significantly undervalued the
Separately, the head of research at Pfizer Inc <PFE.N> pressed
the case for the company's plan to buy AstraZeneca <AZN.N> for
$106 billion, saying a deal wouldn't disrupt drug research. U.S.
shares of Astra rose 1 percent in premarket trading.
Virginia Rometty, the chief executive of IBM Corp <IBM.N>, told
the New York Times the company was facing a "rocky time" but has
a clear vision on how to pursue another generation of growth.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.6 points and were above fair value, a
formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest
rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow
Jones industrial average futures added 54 points and Nasdaq 100
futures rose 20 points.
The S&P 500 <.SPX> has found support at its 50-day moving
average, bouncing off that level on Friday and ended right above
its 14-day moving average, a sign of improving positive
momentum. The benchmark index is about 1 percent from a record
intraday high reached on April 4.
Wall Street was volatile last week, with the Dow ending at a
record close on Friday but the Nasdaq suffering its biggest
weekly percentage decline in a month. In addition, the Russell
2000 <.TOY> of small-cap companies flirted with correction
territory, dropping nearly 10 percent from its all-time closing
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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