Futures Pointing Higher, Oil Surges Amid U.S.-Iran Tensions, Bitcoin Back in Play & More

U.S. stock market

Stocks poised to open higher

U.S. stock market looks set for a positive open on Monday, despite escalating disputes between the U.S. and Iran. President Donald Trump ramped up pressure on Iran over the weekend, by promising to impose “major additional sanctions” on the Islamic Republic.

U.S.-Iran relations have deteriorated after the president called off an airstrike against the Middle Eastern country after being told as many as 150 people would be killed by the strike. Trump had planned the strike as retaliation for the Iranian downing of an unmanned U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday.

As of 5:38 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow were up 50.5 points, or 0.19% to 26,747.5. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose 25 points, or 0.32% to 7,776.50 while those on the broader S&P 500 gained 6.62 points, or 0.22% to 2,957.12.

Oil climbs higher buoyed by U.S.-Iran tensions

Oil prices jumped early Monday as tensions between Iran and the U.S. worsened, creating uncertainties in the global market. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, rose $0.11, or 0.17%, to $65.31 a barrel by 4:45 a.m. ET, near Friday’s three-week high of $65.76.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the U.S. oil benchmark, gained $0.40, or 0.7%, to $57.83 per barrel.

Eldorado Resorts agrees to acquire Caesars

Eldorado Resorts Inc (NASDAQ: ERI) has agreed to buy Caesars Entertainment Corp (NASDAQ: CZR) the companies announced on Monday. The cash-and-stock deal, which values Caesars at $17.3 billion including debt, would create the US’s biggest gaming company.

Caesars shareholders will receive a value of $12.75 for each share they own, representing a 28% premium to their closing price on Friday. Caesars and Eldorado shareholders will hold approximately 49% and 51% of the combined company’s outstanding shares, respectively.

Shares of Caesars rocketed 14.61% to $11:45 in premarket trading while those of Eldorado declined 4.26% to $49.04.

Bitcoin rises to 15-month high

Bitcoin price soared past the $11,000 level on Monday before facing resistance and giving away some of the gains.

At around 5:30 a.m. HK/SIN time on Monday, the cryptocurrency reached an intraday high of $11,307.69 according to Coindesk. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has now doubled in value since the beginning of May.

Analysts believe that public acceptance of digital coins is the reason behind Bitcoin’s recent rally, particularly after Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) announced last week that it plans to roll out its own crypto dubbed ‘Libra’ in the first half of 2020.