By Rama Venkat Raman
(Reuters) – Wall Street was set for a slightly higher open on Thursday as traders focused on a $52.4 billion stock deal between Walt Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox and gains in shares of big banks.
– Shares of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (O:) jumped 2.9 percent in premarket trading after Walt Disney (N:) agreed to buy the Fox’s film, television and international businesses. Disney shares rose 1 percent.
– Shares of Goldman Sachs (N:), JPMorgan (N:), Wells Fargo (N:) and Bank of America (N:) rose between 0.34 percent and 1 percent ahead of market open.
– Republicans in the Senate and the House reached a deal on final tax legislation on Wednesday, paving the way for final votes next week on a package that would slash the corporate tax rate to 21 percent.
– A Commerce Department report is likely to show retail sales rose 0.3 percent in November, after climbing 0.2 percent in October, while the weekly initial jobless claims are expected to have increased by 3,000 to 239,000. The reports are due at 8:30 a.m ET (1330 GMT).
– U.S.-listed shares of Valeant (N:) were down 5.2 percent after JP Morgan cut the stock’s rating to ‘underweight’
Futures snapshot at 6:59 a.m. ET:
– Dow e-minis () were up 32 points, or 0.13 percent, with 5,158 contracts changing hands.
– S&P 500 e-minis () were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 51,481 contracts traded.
– Nasdaq 100 e-minis () were up 7.75 points, or 0.12 percent, on volume of 5,269 contracts.
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