-Fed minutes: Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the market reaction to yesterday’s release of the October FOMC minutes, which appeared to stress the potential for an interest rate liftoff in December, is how few signs there are of investor unease. The greenback has weakened, with the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropping 0.4 percent, while stocks in Europe rallied with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index 1 percent higher at 10:43 a.m. in London. The European Central Bank will release an account of its October meeting at 7:30 a.m. ET this morning, which may give investors further clarity on the bank’s intentions at its December meeting.
-Commodity rout continues: Iron ore has become the latest victim of the commodity rout as contracts in Asia slumped to record lows. The Metal Bulletin Ltd. price for 62 percent content spot ore in Qingdao dropped to $45.44 a dry ton from $46.35 yesterday. Nickel, the worst performing metal on the London Metal Exchange this year, closed near a twelve-year low as demand from China for the commodity used in stainless steel production evaporates. Citigroup has warned that commodity markets have yet to price in a Fed rate hike.
-Unicorns are not real: Square Inc. raised less than it had sought in its initial public offering, selling 27 million shares for $9 each, totaling $243 million. The price realized is well below the offer price of $11 to $13 a share and puts the company’s market value at about $2.9 billion, less than half the $6 billion valuation it had in its latest financing. Match Group Inc., the owner of online-dating services Tinder, Match and OkCupid, priced its shares in its IPO at the bottom end of a $12 to $14 per share offering. The sale gives the company a market value of $2.9 billion.
-Pfizer/Allergan deal: Pfizer Inc. is in advanced talks to buy Allergan Plc for as much as $380 per share in a deal that would value the Botox maker as high as $150 billion. According to people familiar with the matter, the companies aim to announce an agreement as soon as Monday. Shares in Ireland-based Allergan had dropped in extended trading yesterday evening due to plans by the U.S. Treasury Department to deter tax inversions, seen by some as a motivation behind Pfizer’s pursuit of the company.
-Coming up: Initial jobless claims are due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting a decline to 270,000, from 276,000 the previous month. Also at 8:30 we get the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, which is expected to show an improvement from last month’s negative reading. For Fed watchers, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart is speaking at 12:30 p.m. in Atlanta.
-Two tech IPOs: Square (SQ) and Match Group (MTCH) are going public today in the U.S. even though it has been a difficult year for initial public offerings. The mobile payments firm Square is offering shares for $9 a piece, which is well below the projected price. The offering sets Square’s value around $3 billion. That’s a huge discount to the $6 billion valuation implied when Square last raised money from private investors a little more than a year ago. Square’s CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey is also the top executive at Twitter (TWTR, Tech30). Match Group, which owns online dating apps and websites including Tinder and OkCupid, is set to list at $12 per share. The offering will raise nearly $400 million and value the company around $2.8 billion. But Match experienced an awkward moment after the British Evening Standard published a story on Wednesday with inaccurate Tinder user metrics and a lewd comment attributed to Tinder’s top executive, Sean Rad. The interview raised questions about whether the company violated its «quiet period,» the window between filing a public document and the time the SEC deems it effective.
-Global market overview: Nearly all global stock markets are moving higher Thursday. U.S. stock futures are pushing up, many European markets are rising by about 1% in early trading and Asian markets ended the day with solid gains. This comes after U.S. markets jumped Wednesday following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October meeting. The minutes indicated the Fed would likely hike interest rates in December, giving investors more certainty about where to allocate their investments. The Fed put rates near zero in December 2008 to help the economy, which was then grappling with a severe recession and housing crisis. Rates haven’t budged since, and many experts say the U.S. economy is healthy enough for interest rates to be slowly nudged higher. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average shot up 1.4%, the S&P 500 charged ahead 1.6% and the Nasdaq rose by 1.8%.
-Stock market movers — Keurig, Allergan: Investors are feeling perky after Keurig (GMCR) reported earnings results that blew past expectations on Wednesday evening. Shares in the firm, which makes coffee-brewing machines, are rising by nearly 20%. And Allergan (AGN) stock is jumping by about 3% premarket based on reports that Pfizer (PFE) is closing in on a deal to buy the drug company.
-Earnings: Best Buy (BBY) is one of the key companies that’s set to report earnings before the bell. After the market closes, investors will hear from retailers including Gap (GPS), Ross (ROST) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM). Specialty food stores The Fresh Market (TFM) and Natural Grocers (NGVC) are also due after the close.