Merger madness is gripping Wall Street this morning and stocks, so far, are ready to sprint higher at the open. European markets are trading higher, and Asian stocks rose overnight, with a weaker yen helping lift Japan's Nikkei more than 1.6%.
Headlines started rolling over the weekend on a new batch of deals and potential deals. Dutch bank ABN Amro is being stalked by British bank Barclays, which has reportedly made an informal overture.
Clayton Dubilier is buyingServiceMaster for $4.7 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports Community Health was close to a deal for Triad Hospitals , which would disrupt a $4.5 billion buyout plan by private equity. Quanta is buyingInfrasource for $1.26 billion. Reuters quotes a source saying Blackstone and Carlyle are considering a rival TXU bid, which could upset the record breaking bid from other private equity firms.
Good News, Bad News
Our Steve Liesman will talk about a new report on the mortgage market today that shows that the fallout in subprime is manageable for the U.S. economy. Now the bad news: the mess could take six or seven years to unwind. The uncertainty factor is what happens to home prices, Liesman says.
Watch the Financials
Managing Editor Tyler Mathisen told us last week to watch those stocks, which are a bellwether for the broader market. Slammed by subprime worry, the group has taken a sizeable hit in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal today says analysts are keeping a close eye on financials for hints of what it will take the market to rebound. The newspaper says the financial sector of the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 lost 5.5% since the market's big one day drop Feb. 27. The overall index lost 4.4%.
Also Watch Oil
It's been dipping and its trading below $57 per barrel this morning.