Stocks end in positive territory ahead of Fed rate-setting meeting
Stocks drifted higher for much of Monday's session ahead of the Fed's FOMC meeting, which kicks off tomorrow and concludes on Wednesday. The central bank may not move on rates just yet this week, but if it signals it is still considering a potential cut, that may be enough to keep investors in an optimistic mood until the next big market-moving event, namely the upcoming G20 meeting where President's Trump and Xi may meet to discuss trade.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Empire State manufacturing index plunged 26.4 points to a 3-year low of -8.6 in June from a 6-month high of 17.8 in May.
TOP NEWS: Pfizer (PFE) announced an agreement to acquire Array BioPharma (ARRY), a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule medicines to treat cancer, for $48 per share in cash, for a total enterprise value of approximately $11.4B. Array shares jumped almost 57% to close at $46.44 following the deal announcement.
In other M&A news, C&J Energy Services (CJ) and Keane Group (FRAC) announced the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals. The combined company will be positioned as a diversified oilfield services provider with a pro-forma enterprise value of approximately $1.8B, including $255M of net debt.
In other news, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra said in an interview with Axios that she is planning for an electric future, adding that she wants "every GM employee to stay with us." The CEO also said that she wants to "make sure this company is not around for the next five years but the next 50 and beyond."
Meanwhile, Boeing (BA) shares closed 2.2% higher after the company announced deals with GE Capital Aviation Services (GE), International Airlines Group and Air Lease (AL) as part of the Paris Air Show. Additionally, CFO Greg Smith told Bloomberg in an interview that the company is open to dropping the "MAX" branding for its latest 737 jetliner. Following that report, however, a company spokesman told Reuters that Boeing has no plans to change the name of the 737 MAX as the grounded plane returns to service.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Sotheby's (BID), which surged 58.6% after it agreed to be acquired by BidFair USA, an entity wholly owned by media and telecom entrepreneur as well as art collector, Patrick Drahi. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders will receive $57 in cash per share of Sotheby's common stock in a transaction with an enterprise value of $3.7B. Also higher was ArQule (ARQL), which rose 16.8% after it announced preliminary results from its miransertibe study.
Among the notable losers was PaySign (PAYS), which slid 10.9% after after BTIG analyst Mark Palmer downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy citing valuation. Also lower was Ashford Hospitality (AHT), which fell 4.4% after DA Davidson analyst James Lykins downgraded to the stock to Neutral from Buy and cut his price target on the shares to $4 from $7.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 22.92, or 0.09%, to 26,112.53, the Nasdaq gained 48.37, or 0.62%, to 7,845.02, and the S&P 500 advanced 2.69, or 0.09%, to 2,889.67.
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