Stocks posted declines last week as the tech wreck continued to shake up investor confidence. The tech-heavy Nasdaq actually posted gains for the week, but the S&P 500 and DJIA both ended Friday in the red.
Today, the market is looking to start the week on a high note. Futures are currently pointing to a strong open with S&P 500 and Nasdaq contracts currently posting gains above 1.0%.
Some news outlets are reporting Wall Street is placing large wagers on a volatile election season. There’s been increased volume in ETFs, futures, and options tied to the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX. It seems like the smart money is expecting a choppy market due to prolonged uncertainties surrounding the election.
We have several notable IPOs hitting the market this week. The most recognizable names include project management app Asana and tech giant Palantir, which is expected to be the largest IPO this year.
Asian stocks performed well overnight with the Japanese Nikkei 225 posting a 1.3% gain, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 1.0%. In Europe, most markets are rallying. Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 1.4% and the German DAX is leading the pack with a 2.7% gain. The continental Euro Stoxx 600 is up 1.9%.
Thor Industries [THO] will report before today’s opening bell. Here’s what’s moving the market this morning.
Ceasers Entertainment [CZR]
Ceasers announced more details this morning regarding its planned take over of WIlliam Hill. The company says it will make a secondary offering of 30 million shares to fund the transaction, but it didn’t give any indication of price on the offer. At Ceasers closing price of $57.07 on Friday, the offering would generate gross proceeds of about $1.7 billion.
We’re seeing a lot of casino stocks making moves to bolster their online gaming business. CZR has been left out of most of the action so far, but the stock could rally if it closes the William Hill acquisition successfully.
CZR is currently up 8.5% in the pre-market.
Devon Energy [DVN]
U.S. shale produce Devon Energy is making headlines this morning after announcing a $2.56 billion deal to acquire fellow fracker WPX Energy [WPX]. The all-stock deal only pays a 2.7% premium in comparison to WPX’s Friday closing price, and Devon Energy says it will help the company expand its presence in the Delaware portion of the Permian Basin across Texas and New Mexico.
DVN is trading actively this morning and its currently leading the S&P 500 with a 12.6% gain.
Piedmont Lithium [PLL]
Anytime Tesla [TSLA] comes up in a story, the market takes notice.
Piedmont Lithium is riding the ‘Tesla wave’ today after the firm landed a new supply deal with the EV leader. The firm entered into a binding sales agreement to supply Tesla with spodumene concentrate (SC6), a vital ingredient in the battery manufacturing process. The 5-year fixed-price deal also includes a mutual extension option that would add another 5 years to the contract term.
The deal locks in sales for roughly one-third of Piedmont’s expected SC6 production, and Tesla has the option to buy more if needed. A company press release also noticed that the “agreement confirms the strategic nature of Piedmont’s unique American spodumene deposit” and “discussions are ongoing with respect to other lithium and by-product sales arrangements.”
PLL is one of the morning’s top performers with a 211.0% pre-market gain.
Perceptron Inc. [PRCP]
Swedish industrial tool maker Atlas Copco AB [ATLKY] will acquire Perceptron for $7 per share in a $68.9 million deal. Atlas will pay a 71% premium to acquire the 3D automated meteorology solutions provider, and PRCP’s number-one shareholder has agreed to support the deal. The companies say they plan to close on the transaction before the end of the year.
PRCP went haywire once this news hit the market, and trading was halted in Monday’s pre-market. However, the stock is currently up 66.5% on news of the merger.