|Chennai||Rs. 27580.00 (0.18%)|
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* Merck to buy Idenix, Analog to buy Hittite
* Apple may see heavy action following stock split
* CBOE Volatility index at lowest level since Feb '07
* Futures down: Dow 10 pts, S&P 2.4 pts, Nasdaq 4 pts (Adds Family Dollar news)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futurespointed to modest losses at the open on Monday, as a rash ofcorporate deals weren't enough reason for investors to keepbuying following a rally that has taken major indexes torepeated record highs.
* The S&P 500 has risen in 10 of the past 12 sessions,ending at records six times in the past seven trading days. OnFriday, the benchmark index was lifted by the May payrollreport, which pointed to improving economic conditions, thoughit was slightly weaker than expected. While Wall Street's upwardtrend looks intact, traders may need new catalysts to maintainits momentum.
* Merck & Co agreed to buy Idenix PharmaceuticalsInc in a deal valued at about $3.85 billion, whileAnalog Devices Inc said it would buy Hittite MicrowaveCorp in a deal valued at $2 billion.
* Shares of Idenix more than tripled, jumping 237 percent to$24.34 on heavy premarket volume. Merck dipped 0.8 percent to$57.40. Hittite popped 29 percent to $78.12.
* Market participants will continue to watch the CBOEVolatility index, which fell Friday to its lowest levelsince February 2007. The "fear index" is almost half of itshistorical average, which some analysts worry is a signal thatthe market is not fully accounting for issues that could derailthe rally.
* Apple Inc may see heavy action on Monday, thefirst session after a seven-for-one stock split. The tech titanfell 0.4 percent to $91.89 before the bell. The Nikkei on Fridayreported that Apple was preparing to sell its first wearabledevice this October, aiming to produce 3 million to 5 millionsmartwatches a month in its initial run.
* S&P 500 futures fell 2.4 points and were slightlybelow fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by takinginto account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration onthe contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell10 points and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 4 points.
* About 68,000 S&P 500 e-mini contracts traded handsas of 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), indicating another day of lighttrading, which could make the market susceptible to big swings.
* Family Dollar Stores Inc jumped 12.5 percent to$68.10 in heavy premarket trading after hedge fund billionaireCarl Icahn late Friday reported a 9.39 percent stake in thecompany, making him the discount retailer's largest shareholder.
* Tyson Foods Inc said it reached a "unilaterallybinding offer" to buy Hillshire Brands Co for $8.55billion, including debt, beating out Pilgrim's Pride Corp. Hillshire rose 4.9 percent to $61.83 before the bell. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)