Reynolds American on Tuesday announced plans to acquire Lorillard in a deal the company valued at $27.4 billion.
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U.S. stocks climbed on Friday, but closed lower for the week, as investors weighed Wells Fargo results and readied for a slew earnings ahead.
European shares ended the day flat, as traders shrugged off some concerns about the condition of Portugal's banking sector.
Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.
Reynolds American and Lorillard are agreeing a complex merger that will reshape Big Tobacco, bringing together the two biggest US operators.
Stocks rose on Thursday, lifting the Dow industrials above 17,000, after the June jobs report.
Sources told CNBC that a Lorillard and Reynolds American merger is weeks away, although the companies have not fully negotiated terms.
Some of Thursday's midday movers:
The rapid growth of electronic cigarette sales poses a rising risk to holders of as much as $96 billion of bonds tied to payments tobacco companies.
A deal between Reynolds American and Lorillard will very likely happen, Wells Fargo's Bonnie Herzog says.
Electronic cigarettes, promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco, are getting powerful new backers: big tobacco firms. NYT reports.
E-cigarette sales at US convenience stores fell for the first time, underlining a shift to larger, cheaper devices, the FT reports.
The prototype for the Empire State Building will turn into a hotel and luxury apartments next year.
Lorillard is among the companies making headlines after the bell Wednesday: Lorillard, NetApp, Rexnord & more.
Stocks rose on Wednesday, as investors cheered the latest release from the Fed.
Reynolds is in talks to buy Lorillard in a three-way transaction that could see British American Tobacco take a major role to back a potential merger.
The electronic cigarette industry reacted positively to proposed FDA regulations which could bring further legitimacy to the nicotine vapor devices.
A merger between Reynolds American and Lorillard would have benefits in their domestic market. It could also kick off more deals overseas.
Companies are making headlines after the bell Monday.