Good morning,

Markets are called to open higher this morning. This is what's happening today:

• Verizon Poised to Announce $130b Deal on Vodafone Wireless Venture

• City Job Vacancies Jumped 16% Last Month, Recruiter Says

• Asian Stocks Rise on China Manufacturing Expansion

• Zurich Defends Accounts as Ackermann Exits After CFO’s Suicide

• Marseille-Kliniken in Talks to Sell Care Homes, Welt Reports

• U.K. Hometrack House Prices Rise in Strongest Market Since ’07

• Iliad Posts 78% Jump in First-Half Net After Boosting Sales

• Telecom Italia Credit Plan Stymied by Moody’s

• Merkel Spars With Challenger Steinbrueck in TV Debate

• Czech Monetary Policy Needs to Loosen, Central Banker Lizal Says

• Fondazione Monte Paschi, biggest investor in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, meets on governance decisions, time TBA

EARNINGS All times CET, estimates where available

• Helvetia (HELN SW) 7am, 1H adj./GAAP net CHF164.4m

• Berkeley (BKG LN) 8am, 1Q sales, IMS

European and U.S. stock-index futures climbed with Asian shares as Chinese manufacturing grew and prospects of an imminent strike on Syria faded. China’s economy is strengthening after a two-quarter slowdown, with a manufacturing gauge rising to a 16-month high in August. Data today may show euro region factory output maintained growth in August. India’s slowest economic expansion since 2009 adds pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stem a slide in the rupee. In the U.S., where markets are closed today, President Barack Obama delayed action against Syria by seeking approval from Congress.

Stocks to watch: Verison/Vodafone

Verizon Communications Inc. is poised to announce an agreement as soon as today to acquire Vodafone Group Plc’s 45 percent stake in their wireless venture for $130 billion, capping its decade-long pursuit of full control of the biggest U.S. mobile-phone carrier.

Vodafone, based in Newbury, England, confirmed the price in a statement yesterday, saying it’s in advanced talks. An agreement on the deal has been reached, and Verizon’s board will vote on the terms today, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details haven’t been made public yet.

Good day and happy trading!

Kristian Camenzuli