Futures Edge Higher After Six Down Weeks

Futures edged higher Monday after six weeks of declines for the S&P 500 left equities at more attractive levels.

In merger and acquisition news, Allied World Assurance said it would buy Transatlantic Holdings for $3.2 billion in stock on Sunday, and the two companies said the transaction is structured as a merger of equals.

And VF said it would acquire shoemaker Timberland for $2 billion to boost its outdoor and action sports business. Shares of Timberland skyrocketed more than 40 percent.

Meanwhile, Wendy's/Arby's gained after the fast-food chain announced it will sell its struggling Arby's Restaurant to Roark Capital Group for about $130 million in cash. Wendy's/Arby's will retain 18.5 percent ownership of Arby's valued at about $30 million, the firm said in a statement.

In the banking sector, HSBC will run down its credit card business in the U.S. if it cannot find a buyer, CEO Stuart Gulliver, as the bank is trying to cut costs and reduce retail banking.

Some of the major U.S. banks are getting ready to cut their exposure to U.S. Treasurys in August, when a deadline for an agreement on raising the debt ceiling expires, the FT reported.

An online tax battle is looming, the FT also reported, as Amazon and Ebayhave different positions over the taxation of internet shopping.

Texas Instruments slipped after Baird cut its price target on the semiconductor firm to $34 from $35.

Widely-followed economist Nouriel Roubini said there is a chance that the Federal Reserve may unleash a new round of money printing by the end of the year.

There are no major economic data to be released in the U.S. on Monday.

In an interview with CNBC on Saturday, the head of Roubini Global Economics said the probability of QE3 will become “significantly higher” if U.S. economic weakness persists and the stock markets correct 10 percent or more.

European shares were up as bargain hunters picked through the debris after six weeks of losses. Concerns over the health of the global economy and the lack of consensus from policymakers on how to tackle Greece's debt crisis limited gains.

European policymakers appeared no closer to finalizing an agreement over whether private investors would take part in a restructuring of Greek debt.

On Tap This Week:

MONDAY: Fed's Lacker speaks, NPD video game sales, GOP Presidential debate
TUESDAY: NFIB small business optimism index, PPI, retail sales, business inventories; earnings from Best Buy
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, CPI, Empire state mfg survey, Treasury international capital, industrial production, housing market index, Geithner testifies before House Financial Services, oil inventories, credit card default rates reported, Dell shareholder mtg, Google Chromebook goes on sale
THURSDAY: Housing sales, jobless claims, current account, Philadelphia Fed survey, Fed's Fisher speaks, money supply; earnings from Kroger, Pier 1 Imports, Smithfield Foods, Research In Motion
FRIDAY: Consumer sentiment, leading indicators, quadruple witching

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