Today's Primer

Wall Street Indecisive Streak Rolls On


U.S. stock index futures are pointing to not only a higher open this morning, but the possible continuation of an unprecedented streak: the S&P 500 has alternated between gains and losses for the past 13 sessions. The Dow has a 12-session alternation streak going, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 modestly positive during their respective streaks. That indecision, however, could be broken with the beginning of earnings season this week.

Dow component Alcoa (AA) kicks off the season when it reports after today's closing bell, though there are no other reports of note today. The next notable day for earnings will come Friday morning, when JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) report their quarterly numbers.

There are no economic reports out of note today, though later in the week we'll see the latest FOMC minutes as well as March figures for retail sales and producer prices.

Boeing (BA) is a stock to watch today, as the jet maker completes all of its certification testing for a revamped 787 battery system. That puts Boeing a key step closer to getting the grounded jet back into service.

Constellation Brands (STZ), Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and Grupo Modelo have reached an agreement in principle with the Justice Department over AB InBev's deal to buy the part of Grupo Modelo it doesn't already own. The revised deal gives control of Modelo beers sold in the U.S. to Constellation, in response to DOJ concerns that the original deal would stifle competition.

A Dell (DELL) special committee has told investor Carl Icahn it would not reimburse him for expenses related to his takeover bid, if he continues to threaten a proxy fight to force the computer maker to pay a sizable dividend.

Deutsche Bank (DB) is reportedly in talks with Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ to sell $3.7 billion in commercial property loans, according to Reuters. Mitsubishi is Japan's largest lender and has been making a concerted effort to grow its U.S. assets.

UPS (UPS) is said to be appealing the European Union's decision to block its $6.7 billion deal to buy TNT Express. Reuters says UPS has decided to challenge the bid – which was dropped in January – because it believes the decision was factually and legally erroneous.

Lufkin Industries (LUFK) is close to a deal to be bought by General Electric (GE), according to the Wall Street Journal. Lufkin currently has a market capitalization of about $2.2 billion, although the paper says it's unknown exactly how much GE would pay and when a deal might be concluded. Lufkin is an oilfield services provider.