1. Earnings and the Fed could make or break stock market records this week
U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher Monday open on Wall Street. The S&P 500, which traded above July's all-time high close on Friday, finished just 3 points shy. If premarket gains hold by Monday's close, the index would beat out its previous record. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose for a third straight session Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average joined the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in positive territory for October with Friday's gains. The Federal Reserve begins its two-day meeting Tuesday, with expectations on Wednesday for a third quarter-point interest rate cut this year.
2. Tech earnings are in focus during busiest week for third-quarter reports
This week is expected to be the busiest week for companies reporting earnings for the September quarter, with tech giants Google-parent Alphabet after the bell Monday as well as Apple and Facebook late Wednesday. Before the bell Monday, Dow stock Walgreens Boots Alliance beat estimates with fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. AT&T on Monday morning reported mixed third-quarter results, beating on earnings and missing on revenue. AT&T also announced a three-year financial outlook and a capital allocation plan, drawing praise from Elliott Management, the activist investor group with a major stake in the telecommunications and media conglomerate.
3. Tiffany shares soar after French luxury group LVMH makes $14.5 billion takeover bid
Shares of Tiffany were surging about 28% in the premarket after French luxury giant LVMH said early Monday that it had approached the iconic New York-based jeweler about a possible takeover. The owner of Louis Vuitton and Bulgari brands among others proposed a bid valuing Tiffany at about $120 per share or $14.5 billion. Tiffany stock closed Friday at $98.55, and it was indicated on Monday about $7 above the proposed bid. Tiffany — which, according to Reuters sources, hired advisers to review LVMH's offer — has been caught out by the U.S.-China trade war as Chinese tourists spend less in major American shopping hubs.
4. Microsoft beats out Amazon for a hotly contested $10 billion defense contract
Dow stock Microsoft was rising about 3% in the premarket, while Amazon was dipping about 1%, after the former emerged victorious in a dramatic competition for public cloud resources for the Defense Department, beating out market leader Amazon Web Services, the Pentagon said late Friday. The contract could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade. An upcoming book about James Mattis' time Defense secretary claims President Donald Trump told Mattis to "screw Amazon" out of that Pentagon cloud contract.
5. Virgin Galactic to begin trading on NYSE as first space tourism stock
Virgin Galactic will become the first space tourism stock to trade on public markets. The Richard Branson company will list directly on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, under the ticker symbol "SPCE." Shareholders last week approved Virgin Galactic's merger with Chamath Palihapitiya's special purpose acquisition company. Branson retains a 51% controlling stake. A ticket for a Virgin Galactic flight goes for about $250,000 per person, and the company has a list of 603 customers waiting to fly.
— Reuters contributed to this report.