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US Stock Futures Rebound Slightly Amid Iran-Israel Tensions and Earnings Season Kickoff

In Sunday evening trading, US stock index futures showed signs of resilience, bouncing back slightly from last week’s significant losses. Concerns surrounding a potential Iran-Israel conflict weighed on market sentiment, while the start of the first quarter earnings season added to the cautious mood.

Amid indications of persistent US inflation, investors largely dismissed the possibility of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in the first half of 2024, anticipating a scenario of prolonged higher rates.

S&P 500 Futures edged up 0.3% to 5,183.50 points, with Nasdaq 100 Futures also climbing 0.3% to 18,240.25 points, both by 19:57 ET (23:57 GMT). Dow Jones Futures followed suit, rising 0.2% to 38,329.0 points.

Tensions in the Middle East took center stage after Iran’s recent drone and missile attack on Israel. While the strike caused minimal damage, it raised concerns about potential retaliation, although Israeli officials signaled a delayed response. Iran declared the conclusion of its operation without further plans against Israel, following an alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Last week, Wall Street faced a barrage of negative factors, prompting significant profit-taking. The S&P 500 dropped 1.5% to 5,123.41 points on Friday, with the NASDAQ Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also closing lower.

Fading hopes for early US interest rate cuts weighed heavily on market sentiment, exacerbated by persistent inflation data and disappointing earnings reports from major banks. Looking ahead, attention turns to upcoming earnings releases, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Charles Schwab Corp on Monday, followed by Johnson & Johnson, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, Bank of America Corp, and Morgan Stanley on Tuesday. Investors keenly await insights into the impact of inflationary pressures on corporate performance and the sustainability of market valuations.


Following the recent acquisition of the Socializer Messenger, VCI Global announces their successful acquisition of ENGAGE and Interact, further bolstering their technology venture portfolio in gamification. They anticipate that incubating these two platforms, and in time, spinning them off into Nasdaq listings will enrich their technological offerings and deliver material financial upside to VCIG,” said Dato’ Victor Hoo, Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VCI Global.

Salesforce in Advanced Talks to Acquire Informatica Amid Tech Sector Deal-Making Surge

According to a source familiar with the matter, customer relations software giant Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is currently in advanced negotiations to acquire Informatica, marking another significant move in the bustling technology sector.

Reportedly, the proposed acquisition price falls below Informatica’s current share value of $38.48, as per the Wall Street Journal, which initially broke the news of the discussions between Salesforce and Informatica.

Both Salesforce and Informatica have yet to provide official comments or responses regarding the reported talks.

Meanwhile, private equity firm Permira, in conjunction with the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which collectively holds a controlling interest of over 75% in Informatica, declined to offer any comments. Attempts to reach CPPIB for a response were unsuccessful.

Established in 1993, Informatica specializes in subscription-based cloud data management services, catering to over 5,000 active clients and offering automation solutions.

Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Informatica boasts an impressive client roster including multinational corporations like Unilever (LON:ULVR) and Deloitte.

Informatica’s stock has surged by nearly 43% year-to-date, effectively valuing the company at approximately $11.35 billion.

In 2015, Informatica was privatized for around $5.3 billion by a consortium featuring Permira and CPPIB. Six years later, the company returned to the public market following its acquisition by Permira and CPPIB.

If the acquisition materializes, it would mark Salesforce’s largest deal since its acquisition of workplace messaging app Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) in 2020, valued at nearly $28 billion.

Salesforce’s aggressive approach to acquisitions has faced scrutiny in the past. In early 2023, activist investors, including ValueAct Capital and Elliott Management, raised concerns about the company’s strategy, prompting management to implement cost-cutting measures, increase share buybacks, and disband its M&A board committee.

Notably, Salesforce has a history of prolific acquisitions, including the 2019 purchase of data analytics platform Tableau Software in an all-stock deal valued at $15.7 billion.

The tech sector has been witnessing a surge in deal-making activity, fueled by the growing interest in artificial intelligence. Recent notable deals include design software company Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) agreeing to acquire smaller rival Ansys (NASDAQ:ANSS) for approximately $35 billion in January, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) striking a $14 billion deal to acquire networking gear maker Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR).

According to Dealogic, technology accounted for the largest share of mergers and acquisitions during the first quarter, experiencing a year-on-year increase of over 42% to approximately $154 billion.

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