US STOCKS-Wall St open seen flat as factory data offsets M&A

* NY Fed business index misses forecast

* Merger activity picks up

* Lowe’s tops estimates, outlook light

* Futures off: S&P 1.2 pts, Dow 16 pts, Nasdaq 4 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

BY Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 17 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) futures pointed to
a flat open on Monday after data showed manufacturing activity
in New York State grew at a slower pace than expected,
offsetting optimism on the back of a flurry of mergers.

Investors questioned the ability of the U.S. recovery to
blunt concerns over the impact of heavy euro-zone debt loads on
a global level.

The New York Federal Reserve’s gauge of manufacturing in
New York State continued to grow in May but at a slower pace
and came in far below forecasts. For details, see
[ID:nN17209874]

“This is just confirmation that the recovery is not exactly
robust. Yes, we have a recovery, but everyone sees the recovery
as basically more of a stabilization than a new growth trend,”
said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in
Jersey City, New Jersey.

“It’s a tug of war between macro U.S. and global. Is the
U.S. leadership in the economic rebound going to be strong
enough to overcome the perilous decline of the euro?”

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) shed 1.2 points and were slightly
above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration
on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: )
dropped 16 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) fell 4
points.

Futures rose early Monday as a slew of mergers and
acquisitions pointed to continued strength in the U.S.
recovery.

Hospital operator Universal Health Services Inc (UHS.N: )
said it would buy Psychiatric Solutions Inc (PSYS.O: ), which
operates mental health facilities, for about $2 billion in cash
plus the assumption of about $1.1 billion in debt.

Psychiatric Solutions shed 0.3 percent to $32.52 in
premarket trade, while Universal Health jumped 7.8 percent to
$42.10. For details, see [ID:nSGE64G09E]

Astellas Pharma Inc (4503.T: ), Japan’s No.2 drugmaker,
agreed to buy U.S. biotech OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc (OSIP.O: ) for
$4 billion in cash in a sweetened bid that would add OSI’s
blockbuster cancer drug Tarceva to its line-up. OSI shares shed
4.1 percent to $57.34. [ID:nTOE64G012]

GLG Partners Inc (GLG.N: ) surged 51 percent to $4.39 after
it agreed to be acquired by rival hedge fund firm Man Group PLC
(EMG.L: ). [ID:nLDE64G0EN]

And private equity firm Apollo Global Management is in
talks to buy U.S. packaging maker Pactiv Corp (PTV.N: ), the Wall
Street Journal reported, citing sources. Pactiv shares jumped
21 percent to $29. [ID:nSGE64G065]

Home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos Inc (LOW.N: ), considered
an indicator on the strength of the housing market, slipped 3.7
percent to $25.11 premarket after reporting
higher-than-expected quarterly profit, but forecast
second-quarter earnings below estimates. [ID:nN17148997]

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo May
housing market index will be reported later Monday.

Investing Research

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Wall St open seen flat as factory data offsets M&A