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Markets are called to open higher this morning. This is what's happening today:
European new car sales rose for a fifth consecutive month in January as the start of an economic recovery in countries sharing the euro encouraged purchases of models such as Volkswagen AG’s Golf hatchback and Audi A3 sedan. New registrations increased 5.2 percent from a year earlier to 967,800 vehicles, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, said today. That compares to a 13 percent jump in December sales. The stretch of gains is the longest since a 10-month period ended in March 2010.
Stock to watch: Activis
Actavis Plc, the world’s second-largest generic drugmaker by market value, is close to an agreement to buy Forest Laboratories Inc. for about $25 billion, said a person familiar with the matter. The acquisition could be announced as early as today U.S. time, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. New York-based Forest had a market value of $19.3 billion when trading closed Feb. 14. The Wall Street Journal reported on the deal earlier.
Actavis is adding the Alzheimer’s drug Namenda and blood-pressure pill Bystolic through the acquisition. The deal is a win for billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who gained a board seat at Forest in 2012 and is the second-largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
WHAT TO WATCH:
• Global Stocks Erase 2014 Losses as $3t Market Value Restored
• BHP 1H Profit Gains 31% on Iron Ore, Lower Costs
• U.K.’s Co-op CEO Says Co. Considers Entry Into New Markets: FT
• BOJ Keeps Rise in Monetary Base, Extends Loan Programs
• EU Ministers See Progress Without Specifics on Bank-Failure Plan
• Banks Review Rules on FX Traders Making Bets With Own Cash: FT
• Buba’s Dombret Says No Sign German Housing Market Overheating
• Swiss Tax Deal Seen Buried After German Cases Revealed
• Renzi to Meet Party Leaders in Bid to Form Italy Government
• Lithuania ‘Quite Comfortably’ Meets Euro Target, Sadzius Says
EARNINGS All times CET
• Air Liquide (AI FP) 10:30am
• Casino Guichard (CO FP) pre-mkt
• Drax Group (DRX LN) 8am
• Essar Energy (ESSR LN) 8am, IMS
• Gas Natural SDG (GAS SM) 9am
• InterContinental Hotels (IHG LN) 8am
• John Wood Group (WG/ LN) 8am
• MTU Aero Engines (MTX GR) 8am
• Pandora (PNDORA DC) TBD
• TNT Express (TNTE NA) 8am
Good day and happy trading!
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