(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street, as investors look ahead to data this week to measure the strength of the domestic economic recovery.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dipped 21 points to 13,226. The Nasdaq futures added 2.50 points to 2,776. Standard and Poor's 500 futures edged 1.40 points lower to 1,413.80.
There are no major U.S. economic data due for Monday.
Events this week include the latest minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee, housing data on new home sales and existing home sales as well as the weekly jobless claims report.
On Friday, U.S. stocks closed on a positive note after readings on consumer sentiment and leading economic indicators came in better than expected. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares hit a record high of $645.48 in mid-day trade amid speculation the technology behemoth is preparing to unveil a smaller iPad next month.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: CVH, BBY, LOW, AET, GRPN, DEO
In corporate news, Coventry Health Care Inc. (NYSE:CVH) jumped 17.63 percent in premarket after it agreed to be acquired by rival Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) for $5.7 billion in cash and stock. AET shares rose 1.76 percent.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE:BBY) shed 4.29 percent in premarket. The Richfield, Minneapolis-based company appointed Hubert Joly, the former chief executive of hospitality and travel company Carlson, as its new CEO and president. Joly's appointment comes at a time when BBY's founder Richard Schulze has offered to take the company for $24 to $26 a share. Best Buy said Schulze has rejected an offer from the board to allow the formation of an investment group and required due diligence in furtherance of his proposal.
Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW) retreated 6.28 percent in premarket after the home improvement retailer reduced its forecast for the full year following lower quarterly earnings and sales that also fell short of market expectations amid a contraction in margins.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) dropped 2.11 percent in premarket. The Wall Street Journal reported at least four early backers of the e-commerce marketplace have sold their shares in recent months.
Diageo Plc (NYSE:DEO) may be in focus. The British beverage company is mulling to acquire the Mexican Jose Cuervo tequila brand from the Beckmann family for about $3 billion, the Telegraph reported, citing sources.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX adding 0.14 percent to trade at 7,050.68. France's CAC40 dipped 0.13 percent to 3,483.68. U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.31 percent to trade at 5,834.06.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index declined 0.38 percent to finish at 2,106.96. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.09 percent to end at 9,171.16. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.06 percent to end at 20,104.27. India's BSE Sensex was closed for a public holiday.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures rose 0.14 percent to $96.14 per barrel. Gold futures edged 0.13 percent lower to $1,617.3 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro dropped 0.28 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2300 and the British pound dipped 0.01 percent to 1.5695. The dollar declined 0.04 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.5300.