US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open as merger pace picks up

* GE to buy British oilfield services company for $1.3 bln

* Beijing’s move to cool inflation excludes rate rise

* Futures up: S&P 5.1 pts, Dow 36 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts

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

(Updates prices, changes quote)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) were set for a
higher open on Monday as several merger deals boosted
investors’ confidence in equities.

General Electric Co (GE.N: ) said it will buy British
oilfield services company Wellstream Holdings Plc (WSML.L: ) for
about 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) to expand its subsea
equipment and services portfolio. GE shares were up 0.5 percent
at $17.80 in premarket trade. [ID:nSGE6BC05T]

Dell Inc (DELL.O: ) will acquire Compellent Technologies Inc
(CML.N: ). Dell shares slipped 1 percent to $13.75 and Compellent
shares slipped 2.6 percent to $27.97 in premarket trade.

In China, the central bank raised lenders’ requirements
instead of benchmark interest rates over the weekend, easing
concerns that tightening its monetary policy could lead to a
slowdown in one of the major growth engines of the global
economy. For details, see [ID:nL3E6ND0F6]

“Some have been arguing that the market is tired after such
a strong rally and is due for a pullback, but the relief factor
from China, although temporary, and a flurry of M&A this
morning is all pointing to a further rally,” said Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New
York.

S&P 500 futures (SPc2: ) rose 5.1 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 (DJc2: )
gained 36 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc2: ) added 8
points.

Data over the weekend showed China’s industrial output
topped expectations and inflation rose to a 28-month high in
November. [ID:nBJL002113]

The Democratic-led U.S. Congress moved on Monday toward
grudging approval of President Barack Obama’s deal with
Republicans to extend expiring tax cuts, even for the
wealthiest Americans. Backers were expected to muster on Monday
the needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to clear a
procedural hurdle, before passage on Tuesday or Wednesday.
who branded it a giveaway to the rich. [ID:nN12152826]

The Financial Times reported that European officials are
considering plans to overhaul the euro zone’s 440 billion euro
rescue fund and use it to buy bonds of distressed governments,
making it easier to help debt-swamped countries without
resorting to fully-fledged bailouts. [ID:nLDE6BC015]

Genzyme Corp (GENZ.O: ) will be in focus after Sanofi-Aventis
(SASY.PA: ) extended its $18.5 billion cash offer until Jan. 21
and may prolong it, a sign the French drugmaker is prepared for
a long battle. [ID:nLDE6B10OK]

Grocery store chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co (GAP.N: )
filed for bankruptcy protection as it struggled with a cash
drain and a sluggish economic recovery.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group’s [CYL.UL] chief
financial officer resigned, possibly delaying an initial public
offering, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) ended higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 at its
highest level since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, and
breaching technical levels that suggest the year-end rally will
persist. The Dow posted two consecutive week of gains.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open as merger pace picks up