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Stock market news, Aug. 18, 2014: U.S. stocks slumped Friday after new reports emerged of rising geopolitical conflict in Ukraine. Last week, a Ukrainian military leader said his forces had attacked a column of Russian armored trucks that crossed the border.
This week, leaders of the U.S. Federal Reserve will be meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the central bank's annual economic symposium. The meeting is expected to provide significant focus on the labor market and some focus on monetary policy for the road ahead. Meanwhile, this week is an important earnings period for home and consumer retail companies.
Here's what you should know to make your Monday profitable:
- Merger Mania: Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) were up nearly 5% this morning on news that Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) has offered to purchase the company for roughly $9.7 billion. The bid tops an $8.5 billion offer from rival Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR).
- Bio Boom: Shares of Biogen Idec Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) were up nearly 2% in premarket hours on news that the drug manufacturer has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its multiple sclerosis treatment Plegridy. The company says that it expects Plegridy to become a strong source of sales for the firm, eventually replacing its already popular Avonex treatment.
- Open Late: In an effort to boost profits and obtain new customers, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced plans to extend its store hours by one to two hours at more than 900 of its locations. The announcement is part of its new strategy from new CEO Brian Cornell as the firm attempts to recover from a highly embarrassing data breach and flailing expansion into Canada.
- Positive Push: In a positive statement on the future of electric vehicles, Tesla Motors Co. (Nasdaq: TSLA) has boosted its warranties, and thus expectations, of the life of its vehicles. The company has extended warranty for its Model S sedan to eight years and unlimited miles. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk wrote over the weekend that he believes that electric motors are better for consumers than engines running on gasoline. Despite the positive push on electric motors, Musk did say he expects that this new warranty will have a negative economic impact on the company's stock in the near term. Shares of Tesla were up 1.5% this morning.