Stocks quoted in this article:
U.S. stocks are flirting with breakeven this morning, with manufacturing and construction data in focus. In company news, today's stocks to watch include discount retailer Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), credit card issue Visa Inc (NYSE:V), travel concern Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NCLH), and drug maker Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS).
- Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) isn't giving up on its pursuit of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), upping its bid to $80 per share. Last month, FDO's board officially rebuffed DG's $78.50-per-share bid in favor of a previous bid from Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR). (MarketWatch)
- Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) -- along with sector peers MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) -- are reportedly partnering with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to turn the next iPhone into a mobile wallet. The deal -- along with the next device -- will allegedly be unveiled on Sept. 9. In other news, AAPL has reportedly corrected a bug that may have allowed hackers to gain access to private celebrity photos. (Bloomberg; USA Today)
- Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:NCLH) will acquire Prestige Cruises International for $3.025 billion in cash and stock. The merger "will provide solid accretion to earnings per share and drive long-term shareholder value," opined Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan. (CNBC)
- Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) is pointed higher ahead of the bell, after the Swiss drug maker reported solid data for its heart failure drug -- the launch of which could be NVS' "most exciting" ever, according to David Epstein, Novartis' head of pharmaceuticals. As such, sales forecasts for LCZ696 have been ramping up at near fever pitch. (Reuters)
- Finally, CONN's, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN) is poised to plummet more than 25% out of the gate, after offering up lackluster earnings and cutting its full-year guidance. (San Antonio Business Journal)