U.S. equity futures point to a higher open this morning after a flat start to the week yesterday. The S&P 500 futures trade 16 points, or 0.6%, above fair value.
In corporate news, Airbus secured a $35 billion jet deal from China, according to Bloomberg, dealing a blow to Boeing (BA 373.80, +3.34, +0.9%) in the 737 Max fallout. Separately, privately-held Uber Technologies (UBER) announced it has agreed to acquire Middle East rival Careem Networks for $3.1 billion, consisting of $1.7 billion in convertible notes and $1.4 billion in cash.
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY 16.74, +2.87) have soared 20.7% in pre-market action after The Wall Street Journal reported that activists are seeking to replace the company's entire 12-person board.
On the data front, housing starts decreased 8.7% m/m in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million units (Briefing.com consensus 1.210 million) from an upwardly revised 1.273 million (from 1.230 million) in January. Building permits decreased 1.6% m/m to 1.296 million (Briefing.com consensus 1.308 million) from a downwardly revised 1.317 million (from 1.345 million) in January.
The key takeaway from the report is that the yr/yr rate of decline accelerated, with starts now down 9.9% yr/yr while permits are down 2.0% yr/yr.
The FHFA Housing Price Index for January (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%) and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for January (Briefing.com consensus 4.0%) will be released at 9:00 a.m. ET. After the open, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for March (Briefing.com consensus 132.0) will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
U.S. Treasuries have edged lower, pushing yields higher across the curve. The 2-yr yield is up three basis points to 2.28%, and the 10-yr yield is up two basis points to 2.44%. The U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.1% to 96.71. WTI crude is up 1.7% to $59.82/bbl.