Futures higher, Trade deal hopes, LVMH-Tiffany, Novartis, Uber woes, and more

Wall Street

U.S. stocks expected to open higher

Wall Street is set for a positive start to the week after the Global Times, an influential state-backed Chinese newspaper, said that Beijing and Washington are very close to a phase one trade deal.

“#TradeWar update: Contrary to negative media reports, China and the US are very close to the phase one trade deal, and China remains committed to continuing talks for a phase two or even a phase three deal with the US, on equal footing, experts close to the Chinese govt told GT,” the tabloid tweeted on Monday.

At around 4:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 69.5 points, or 0.25% to 27,931.50. The S&P 500 futures advanced 7.38 points, or 0.24% to 3,118.88 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 indicated a gain of 29 points, or 0.35% to 8,309.50.

LVMH to buy Tiffany for $16.2 billion

French luxury giant LVMH has reached a deal to acquire U.S.-based luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF) for $16.2 billion. The deal values Tiffany and its boutiques at $135 a share in cash, according to a statement released on Monday.

LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury company, believes the takeover will boost its position in the U.S. market and high-end jewelry. The two companies hope to complete the transaction in 2020 subject to the approval of Tiffany shareholders and regulators.

Tiffany shares have climbed higher in the last few weeks after it emerged that the jeweler had received an unsolicited offer from LVMH for $120 a share. The shares were up 6.01% to $133.05 in premarket hours Monday.

Novartis scoops up The Medicines Company for $9.7 billion

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) has agreed to acquire the Medicines Co. (NASDAQ: MDCO) for $85 a share in cash. The offer values the U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company at about $9.7bn, including outstanding stock options and convertible debt.

According to a press release issued by Novartis, the deal represents a premium of about 24% to the $68.55 a share closing price of the Medicines Company’s stock on Friday. The companies expect to finalize the transaction in the first quarter of 2020.

Shares of the Medicines Company surged 22.39% to change hands at $83.90 a piece in premarket trade on Monday.

Uber loses London license, but vows to appeal

Shares of Uber (NYSE: UBER) fell in premarket trading Monday, after the ride-hailing giant lost its license to operate in London. Authorities declined to grant Uber a new license in the city, claiming they found that at least 14,000 trips were made with unauthorized drivers.

The company has described the decision as “extraordinary and wrong” and has vowed to appeal. It will be allowed to continue operating in the U.K. capital during the appeal process. At the time of writing shares of the company inched 5.28% lower to $28 a piece.

Bitcoin takes a tumble after China crackdown

Bitcoin’s price slumped early Monday, struggling to find a footing after a weekend of pain for the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The crypto fell below $6,700 for the first time since May, according to data compiled by CoinDesk.

The drop occurred after the People’s Bank of China cautioned investors to be wary of digital currencies and vowed to tackle rising cases of illegality involving virtual currencies.

Analysts have been skeptical about the long-term viability of bitcoin and other cryptos due to increased regulatory scrutiny.