Fiat Chrysler and the Eclipse – 5 Things You Must Know Before the Market Opens

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Here are five things you must know for Monday, Aug. 21:


1. — U.S. stock futures were trending lower on Monday, Aug. 21, as Wall Street, faced with little in the way of economic data or corporate earnings, focused instead on geopolitical events.


Stocks in Europe were lower while Asian shares finished Monday’s session mixed. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.14% as U.S. troops and South Korean forces were expected to conduct a joint military exercise on Monday. Investors were wary that the exercise could flare up tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.


U.S. markets were also digesting the departure of Steve Bannon, the White House’s chief strategist.


The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for July at 8:30 a.m. ET. 


2. — Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV  ( FCAU)  were rising in premarket trading on Monday, up 3.4%, after another Chinese carmaker confirmed its interest in buying the company.

China’s Great Wall Motor told Reuters Monday that it had interest in acquiring the company.

“With respect to this case, we currently have an intention to acquire. We are interested in (FCA),” the company official in Great Wall’s press relations department, who declined to give his name, told Reuters over the phone.

Fiat Chrysler shares have risen 12% over the past five days since speculation of a buyer came to light.

In a separate report Monday, Automotive News said the Chinese carmaker had expressed interest in buying the Jeep brand and has contacted Fiat Chrysler to see whether a deal could be negotiated. Also under its umbrella, Fiat Chrysler has the Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram brands.

3. — Sempra Energy ( SRE) agreed to buy Texas power distributor Oncor Electric Delivery and its bankrupt parent, Energy Future Holdings Inc., for an enterprise value of about $18.8 billion, bursting in on Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s ( BRK.A) $18.1 billion offer.


Sempra, the San Diego-based energy services holding company, said it would pay $9.45 billion in cash for Oncor, compared with the $9 billion offered by Berkshire Hathaway, which is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett. 


The transaction is reportedly supported by activist investor Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, which opposed Buffett’s proposed acquisition of Dallas-based Oncor and has been buying Energy Future’s unsecured bonds in order to block the Berkshire Hathaway deal. Energy Future Holdings owns 80% of Oncor.

Sempra’s bid still has to be approved by regulators, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

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