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Odds of a September Taper; Neiman Marcus Deal; Amazon’s Phone Plan

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute
Odds of a September Taper; Neiman Marcus Deal; Amazon’s Phone Plan

Markets are ready to move higher as we begin a new trading week. Futures have been up all morning long. The push into the green comes ahead of critical decisions on Syria and on the tail of Friday's jobs report. Plus, we're now less than 10 days away from the possibility of a Fed taper. So, what should we expect to move the markets today and in the week ahead? Yahoo Finance's Jeff Macke has more in the video above.

Breaking news: Molex (MOLX) is being bought by the Koch Industries. Molex is a global electronics company which trades on the NASDAQ. The company is being bought for $38.50 a share. The stock closed at $29.34 on Friday.

A sale of Neiman Marcus appears imminent. The Wall Street Journal reports that private equity groups Ares Management and the CPP Investment Board are in the final stages of a deal. Word is the purchase price will be around $6-billion. Neiman's has been owned by TPG and Warburg Pincus for the past 8-years.

Suntory Beverage is buying drinks owned by British pharma giant Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK). The Japan-based company is paying more than $2-billion for brands including "Lucozade" and "Ribena." The deal is Suntory's first since it went public in July. Glaxo said earlier this year that it want to shed its beverage holdings to focus on its core healthcare offerings. Glaxo stock is little changed on the announcement. Shares are up 17% so far this year.

Forget free phones from Amazon (AMZN). The company's dubunking a blogger's report that it was about to unveil a device, available for no charge at all. Amazon says it has absolutely no plans to give away handsets. The company has in fact been developing a phone to work on Google's (GOOG) Android system. But it won't be out until next year at the earliest. Amazon stock is up about 15% year-to-date.


Homebuilder Hovnanian (HOV) is about to report earnings. The company is expected to post earnings of 7-cents a share, dramatically lower than the 25-cents it made a year ago. But revenue is likely to jump to more than $500-million up from $387-million 12-months ago. Hovnanian has been under pressure of late as interest rates have started rising, and slowing home sales. But the stock more than quadrupled in 2012 as the housing market picked-up steam. Shares are up 52% over the past year.

Discount retailer Five Below (FIVE) reports after the closing bell. Five Below is expected to post earnings of 9-cents a share, more than double the 4-cents it reported a year ago. Revenue meanwhile, is expected to climb nearly 30% to $112.7 million. UBS upgraded Five Below to a buy from hold on Friday. Part of the reason they're bullish on the company: The chain offers hot-selling Rainbow Loom kits, which are used to make bracelets out of specialty rubber bands. The company stock is up about 17% year-to-date.

Car-parts and repair chain Pep Boys (PBY) also reports after the closing bell. The key issue to watch for here: whether the boom in car sales is hurting business for chains like Pep Boys. The company appears to be in expansion mode, having announced on Friday that it's acquiring 17-Discount Tire Centers in California. Pep Boys is expected to post earnings of 19-cents a share, up from 13-cents a year ago. Expectations for sales are about 5$40-million. Pep Boys has been up about 15% so far this year.

Finally, Sony (SNE) has surprised some with an announcement about its next PlayStation. The new version of the gaming system won't be available in Japan until February. Here in the states, the planned released date is November 15th, a week ahead of Microsoft's X-Box One. The new PlayStation will also be available in Europe later in November. The decision means Sony will miss out on Japan's "New Year" shopping season. Sony stock is up 82% year-to-date, largely on pressure for change from investor Daniel Loeb.