Stocks are climbing to start the week ahead of the fourth quarter earnings season starting this week. Banks will be the focal point, with earnings from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C) all due Tuesday and other mega-cap peers soon to follow.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no economic data of note was reported during morning hours. The monthly budget statement for December is due out at 2 pm ET.
TOP NEWS: Boeing (BA) announced that David Calhoun today assumed the role of president and chief executive officer. Calhoun said, "I'm honored to lead the talented people of Boeing as we face our challenges. Working together, we will strengthen our safety culture, improve transparency and rebuild trust with our customers, regulators, suppliers and the flying public. With the strength of our team, I'm confident in the future of Boeing, including the 737 MAX."
In M&A news, Boeing suppliers Woodward (WWD) and Hexcel (HXL) announced a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals "to create a premier integrated systems provider serving the aerospace and industrial sectors."
In other deal news, Wesco (WCC) and Anixter (AXE) announced that their boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Wesco will acquire Anixter in a transaction valued at approximately $4.5 billion. Anixter's prior agreement to be acquired by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, has been terminated, following CD&R's waiver of its matching rights under the agreement.
A great number of biotech, pharmaceutical and medical appliance names were active as J.P. Morgan hosted its annual healthcare conference. Some of the winners from day one, in terms of stock performance at midday on Monday, included Invitae (NVTA) and Baxter (BAX). Meanwhile, Abiomed (ABMD), Inogen (INGN), ViewRay (VRAY) and Illumina (ILMN) were some of the notable underperformers in the space.
Shares of Lululemon (LULU) are 3% higher after the athleisure wear maker raised its fourth quarter earnings and sales outlook, commenting that it is "excited by the momentum in our business over the holiday period with guests responding well to our innovative merchandise offerings."
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Primo Water (PRMW), which rose 25% after it agreed to be acquired by Cott Corp. (COT) for $14 per share in cash and stock. Cott shares were 4% lower after the news. Also higher was Cardlytics (CDLX), which gained 19% after providing better than expected Q4 revenue guidance.
Among the notable losers was ViewRay, which fell 20% after providing revenue guidance for Q4 and fiscal 2019.
Also lower was Inogen, which dropped 22% after providing downbeat Q4, fiscal 2019, and fiscal 2020 revenue guidance.
INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 55.94, or 0.19%, to 28,879.71, the Nasdaq was up 56.20, or 0.61%, to 9,235.06, and the S&P 500 was up 14.36, or 0.44%, to 3,279.71.