Stocks: Deal talk gives an early boost

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Takeover talk is swirling through the markets Monday as Pfizer said it has been looking at a $100 billion bid for AstraZeneca, and General Electric is reportedly attempting to buy Alstom's power turbines business.

U.S. stock futures were rising ahead of the opening bell as investors and traders consider the implications of these potential M&A deals.

The British pound also pushed up against the U.S. dollar, trading at its highest level since late 2008, in response to the possibility of a Pfizer (PFE) takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN).

"A Pfizer approach to AstraZeneca has given GBP/USD a bit of a boost this morning," noted Kit Juckes at Societe Generale.

Shares in AstraZeneca surged by about 15% in premarket trading, while Pfizer shares were edging higher.

"Pfizer has laid its cards on the table in a bid for pharma titan AstraZeneca, but so far the UK firm is being decidedly coy in its response," wrote IG market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

Related: Pfizer eyes AstraZeneca for $100 billion acquisition

Both General Electric (GE) and Germany's Siemens (SIEME) are reportedly looking to buy the power divisions of France's Alstom (ALSMY), though French government officials are said to be concerned about a U.S. takeover.

Trading in Alstom shares has been suspended. The company promised to make a statement by Wednesday at the latest. Shares in General Electric dipped lower in premarket trading. General Electric has made no comment.

Shares in Siemens fell in premarket trading. The German firm said it has proposed to discuss strategic options with Alstom, but declined further comment.

Related: Fear & Greed Index still in fear zone

Aside from the deal chatter, quarterly earnings continue to roll in from some major companies.

Herbalife (HLF) and Suncor Energy (SU) will post results after the closing bell.

On the economic front, the National Association of Realtors will release data on pending home sales for March at 10 a.m. ET.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

European markets were all moving up in morning trading, with the French and German indices posting the largest gains.

Most major Asian markets declined Monday.

U.S stocks ended the last week in the red. The Nasdaq dropped 1.8% Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.9% points and the S&P 500 also ended lower.

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