Bob Pisani is off so today's Trader Talk was written by CNBC producer Danielle Kennedy.
Markets are beginning the week on a positive note amid very light volume ahead of the long holiday weekend. Plenty of economic data to be digested before the week comes to a close, including June nonfarm payrolls and June’s unemployment rate being released Thursday. This Thursday also marks the end of the quarter and the end of half. Right now, all eyes are on how the major indices finish the month. If the Dow Industrials, Dow Transports, Dow Utilities, S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, Russell 2000 finish down this month, they will all snap a 3-month winning streak. And today the sentencing of Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff getting most of the attention, but that story’s not making waves with traders.
Human-resources giant Watson Wyatt is taking a hit in early trading after announcing its merging with Perrin Forster in a deal the companies value at $3.5 billion. The all-stock deal will result in the formation of Towers Watson & Co., with Watson Wyatt shareholders receiving 50% of the shares in the combined company. Towers Perrin shareholders and select employees will be entitled to the other 50% of shares.
Enterprise Products Partners and Teppco agree to merge in a $3.3 billion deal, forming what the companies dub the largest publicly traded energy partnership. The combined company will own nearly 48,000 miles of pipeline. Back in April, Teppco rejected a $2.8 billion proposal that would combine oil-and-gas pipeline firms linked to Houston billionaire Dan Duncan. Enterprise sees the deal closing in 4Q.
Financials were the laggards this morning in the predominately positive market. State Street received a “Wells” notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission informing the asset management and servicing giant that it may face civil charges for exposing investors to subprime mortgage markets. State Streets has been paying investor claims out of a $625 million legal reserve set up in 2007. The Boston-based company says it has been cooperating with SEC and other regulators.
UBS may be close to settling with U.S. tax authorities who are seeking information regarding American bank clients in Switzerland. The Department of Justice is looking to gather details on 52 thousand accountholders from the Zurich-based bank. The settlement could cost the bank as much as $4.6 billion according to a Swiss media report.
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