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U.S. Stock Futures Gain Amid Mergers With S&P 500 at a Record

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index near the 2,000 mark, amid optimism over corporate mergers as investors awaited data on durable- goods orders and consumer confidence.

Tim Hortons Inc. jumped 11 percent after Burger King Worldwide Inc. agreed to acquire the company in a C$12.5 billion ($11.4 billion) cash-and-share deal. Premier Inc. rose 2.1 percent after predicting full-year profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Best Buy Co. dropped 4.8 percent after posting a sales decline that was steeper than analysts had projected.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in September rose 0.2 percent to 1,997.8 at 8:17 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts added 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,082 today.

“I am still bullish on the U.S. market, but I do expect the S&P 500 to consolidate and slip back to 1,950-80 range as it’s due for a rest once it climbs to 2,000,” said Manish Singh, who helps manage $2 billion at Crossbridge Capital in London. “Any dip will be a shallow one. The central-bank and data narrative is still supportive of risk.”

The S&P 500 yesterday gained 0.5 percent to an all-time high as corporate dealmaking and prospects for economic stimulus in Europe bolstered confidence in the bull market. The gauge briefly climbed above 2,000 for the first time.

The U.S. equity benchmark has advanced for the past three weeks and more than $1 trillion has been added to the value of American equities since a two-month low on Aug. 7 amid speculation central banks will continue to keep interest rates near zero even as the economy strengthens.

Durable Goods

A report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show new orders for durable goods in the world’s biggest economy jumped 8 percent in July, following a 1.7 percent increase in June, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Data at 10 a.m. local time may show the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 89 this month from 90.9 in July, economists forecast. A third report may show an index of manufacturing in the region covered by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond fell to 6 in August from 7 in July.

Tim Hortons added 11 percent to $82.98, after rallying 19 percent yesterday. Burger King gained 3.1 percent to $33.42. The hamburger chain yesterday surged 20 percent after saying it is in talks with Tim Hortons. Burger King will move its headquarters to Canada, enabling the second-largest U.S. burger chain relocate to a lower-tax country.

Best Buy

Premier rose 2.1 percent to $31 after forecasting full-year adjusted earnings of $1.39 to $1.44 a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $1.38. The purchasing network owned by health-care providers also agreed to buy software company Aperek Inc. for $48.5 million.

Best Buy lost 4.8 percent to $30.44 after the world’s largest electronics chain said second-quarter comparable sales fell 2.7 percent. That was steeper than the 2.2 percent drop forecast by analysts on average. Same-store sales will decline by a “low single digit” rate in the third and fourth quarter, the company said.

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