Stocks were headed lower this morning ahead of what promises to be a busy week for investors with a lot of news to digest. A fresh raft of economic reports this week will be closely watched, following Friday's disappointing jobs report. Among the major indicators this week: retail sales, producer and consumer prices, the Philly Fed survey, housing starts and consumer sentiment. 25 S&P 500 companies also will report 4th quarter earnings. 17 of those are in the financial sector, including big names like J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.
It was also merger Monday, with a big beverage deal announced. Japan's family-owned drinks-maker, Suntory, is buying Beam (BEAM) in a deal worth $16 billion, including the assumption of debt. Suntory's offer of $83.50 a share is a 25% premium over Beam's Friday close. Shares of Beam soared in the pre-market, up about 25%.
And Neiman Marcus confirmed cyber-hackers stole customer credit card data during the holiday shopping season. The security breach at the luxury retailer follows the massive breach at Target, also during the holiday season. Officials at Neiman Marcus did not confirm the number of accounts affected, but said they are contacting customers whose information was compromised.
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