Here is what you need to know.
“Star Wars” has more than $1 billion in sales. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” crossed the $1 billion sales mark in just 12 days, making it the fastest grossing $1 billion movie of all-time. The sales figures are especially impressive considering Star Wars won’t be released in China until 2016. Jurassic World held the previous record, taking 13 days to reach the mark. It should be noted that Star Wars had the benefit of being released ahead of Christmas.
Pep Boys has accepted Bridgestone’s offer. Bloomberg reports, Pep Boys has accepted a $17 per share, or $947 million, takeover offer from Bridgestone. The deal, which is shy of Carl Icahn’s $18.10 per share offer, has caused Icahn to suggest the deal undervalues the company. “We cannot understand the actions of the directors in that they know we were willing to offer a lot more than $17,” Icahn told Bloomberg.
Valeant’s CEO remains hospitalized with pneumonia. Valeant CEO Michael Pearson remains hospitalized after being admitted on Friday with a severe case of pneumonia, according to Bloomberg. Pearson was initially admitted to Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey, but has been transferred to an unknown location.
GE has won part of a contract in China. GE will provide six 850-megawatt Francis turbine-generator sets and accompanying equipment for a hydropower plant contract in China, Bloomberg says. The contract is part of a 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) project on the Jinsha river. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Oil is under pressure. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is lower for the first time in five sessions. Monday’s weakness has the energy component down 2.5% at $37.16 per barrel after struggling near the $38 mark. The weakness in Brent crude oil is a bit less pronounced, off 2% at $37.15 per barrel.
The Russian ruble is on track for its lowest close on record. The weakness in oil prices and presumed year-end budget spending by the Russian government have the ruble threatening an all-time closing low. According to Bloomberg, the Russian government usually increases spending in the final days of the year to increase the amount of cash on the balance sheets of companies and banks. The ruble is down 2.3% at 71.9780 per dollar.
Japan’s retail sales missed. Retail sales in Japan fell 1% year-over-year in November, missing the 0.1% drop that was expected. Sales of winter clothing were a drag due to the unusually warm winter. The Japanese yen is weaker by 0.1% at 120.50 per dollar.
Markets in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK are closed. They will reopen tomorrow amid an extremely short holiday week.
Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. China’s Shanghai Composite (-2.6%) paced the decline in Asia and Spain’s IBEX (-0.9%) leads the losses in Europe. S&P 500 futures are down 6.50 points at 2044.75.
Economic data is light. Dallas Fed Manufacturing is due out at 10:30 a.m. ET. Treasury will auction $26 billion 2-year notes at 1 p.m. ET. The US 2-year yield is up 1 basis point at 1.01%.
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