U.S. stocks are set to rally today, after Senate Republicans managed to push through a tax reform bill over the weekend. In fact, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures are signaling all-time highs, as the Michael Flynn saga from last week is pushed to the back burner for the time being. One group to watch is bank stocks, with Dow components Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) signaling strong gains thanks to the tax bill. Investors are also monitoring news that pharmacy operator CVS Health (CVS) is buying health insurance giant Aetna (AET) in a cash-and-stock deal worth roughly $69 billion.
Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:
- Options traders flooded this Russian ETF amid the Michael Flynn drama.
- 2 reasons Mylan stock rallied on Friday.
- A six-figure options trade on this volatility ETN.
- Plus, a stock falling on insider trading reports; more bull notes for shipping stocks; and 2 other M&A headlines.
5 Things You Need to Know Today
- The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 905,820 call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 567,231 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.63, while the 21-day moving average dipped to 0.61.
- A number of stocks are getting a pre-market lift thanks to the Senate’s tax bill, but medical device maker Mazor Robotics Ltd (NASDAQ:MZOR) is not one of them. In fact, MZOR shares are pointed almost 11% lower before the open, due to reports the company’s CEO is being investigated for insider trading. The equity was up roughly 164% year-to-date coming into today, and hit a record high of $65.97 on Oct. 31.
- FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) and United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) both saw bullish attention from Deutsche Bank this morning. The latter stock got upgraded to “buy” from “hold,” and received a price-target hike to $135 from $125, with the analysts suggesting e-commerce growth combined with the security’s 3% dividend yield could result in double-digit returns for investors. Meanwhile, FDX’s price target was hiked to $260 from $235, continuing a stretch of upbeat analyst attention.
- The CVS-Aetna news isn’t the only M&A action to digest this morning. For instance, General Cable Corporation (NYSE:BGC) will be bought by Italian cable company Prysmian for about $3 billion, or $30 per share — a more than 35% premium to BGC stock’s Friday close of $21.80. Plus, circuit board company TTM Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTMI) is buying radar equipment specialist Anaren for $775 million cash.
It was a mixed finish for Asian markets today, as traders warily eyed the Senate’s weekend progress on the U.S. tax reform bill ahead of a government shutdown deadline at the end of this week. Despite a softer yen, Japan’s Nikkei gave up 0.5%, while China’s Shanghai Composite erased intraday gains to settle on a drop of 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended a roller-coaster session up 0.2%, while South Korea’s Kospi lapped its regional peers with a healthy gain of 1.1%.
European stocks are trading higher at midday, with sentiment bolstered by reports that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is close to reaching an agreement with European Union (EU) officials regarding some of the key separation issues impacting Britain’s uncoupling from the continental alliance. At last check, the German DAX is up 1.6%, France’s CAC 40 has climbed 1.1%, and London’s FTSE 100 is 0.5% higher.
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