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Stocks rise ahead of earnings; FedEx's big acquisition; Star Wars' new look

Wall Street still has some spring in its step. Stocks (^GSPC) are building on two straight days of gains as investors applaud a deal in the package delivery space and keep an eye on oil prices after yesterday's big rally. 

Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task expects the markets to be in limbo today. 

“I think we’re in a bit of a lull here before we get the Fed minutes later this week and the start of earnings season,” he points out.

FedEx sets sights on Europe

FedEx (FDX) shares are higher in early trading. The U.S package delivery is buying European rival TNT Express (TNTE.AS) for $4.8 billion in cash. The deal will help FedEx expand its global footprint. This comes two years after regulators blocked UPS’ (UPS) bid to buy the Dutch package delivery firm. Shares of TNT are soaring on the news in European trading. 

Task says he wouldn’t be surprised if a bidding war breaks out for TNT.

“UPS could come back and try to outbid FedEx for this. Some of the terms between TNT and FedEx gives an opportunity for a third party to come in and try to top FedEx’s bid,” he adds.

Some other stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be tracking for you today. 

Related: FedEx gains ground on TNT deal; Viacom and GM head in reverse

Informatica (INFA) shares are jumping. The data software company is being taken private by Permira Advisers and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The buyout would value Informatica at more than $5 billion, making it the largest U.S. leverage buyout so far this year.

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Viacom (VIAB) share are heading lower. The media giant that owns Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central said its taking a pre-tax charge of $785 million in connection with ongoing restructuring and job cuts as it struggles with underperforming shows.

General Motors (GM) share are losing ground after the Canadian government said it's selling its remaining stake in the automaker to Goldman Sachs for an undisclosed amount. The sale comes as the Canadian government tries to balance its books before the elections. Canada's stake in GM is worth about $2.7 billion based on yesterday's closing price.

Starbucks (SBUX) is also in the spotlight. The coffee giant is under scrutiny again for its tax practices in Europe, as its Amsterdam unit paid well under 1% in taxes last year. The EU's antitrust division pledged to announce results of a Starbucks tax investigation by June.

Related: Starbucks redux on free tuition

In other Starbucks news... the company is now is expanding its agreement with Arizona State University to offer free college tuition to employees for four years instead of the previous two years.

"Star Wars" goes digital 

And the Force is REALLY going to be with Star Wars fans this week.  Star Wars films will soon be available for digital download. Disney (DIS) and 20th Century Fox (FOX) announced the franchise films can be downloaded starting Friday. As a bonus, the digital versions will include never-before-seen features.

Related: Star Wars' new digital Force