Spicy takeover; Morgan Stanley earnings; U.S.-China talks


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1. Spicy takeover: McCormick & Company (MKC) has big plans to cash in on condiments.

It’s paying $4.2 billion to buy Reckitt Benckiser’s (RBGLY) condiments business, giving it control of brands such as Frank’s RedHot Hot Sauce and French’s Mustard.

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Shares in Reckitt Benckiser are rising by about 1.5% in London after the announcement.

There’s also takeover chatter in another industry right now: Shares in Discovery Communications (DISCA) and Scripps Networks (SNI) could be on the move Wednesday after reports that the companies are in takeover talks. Both companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Premarket moves show Discovery stock could pop by about 5% at the open.

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2. More earnings: Morgan Stanley (MS) is set to release earnings before the open Wednesday, while American Express (AXP), T-Mobile US (TMUS), Kinder Morgan (KMI) and Alcoa (AA) are set to release earnings after the close.

Morgan Stanley will be closely watched as it’s reporting a day after poor results from Goldman Sachs (GS).

Goldman said on Tuesday it suffered its worst ever quarter in commodities trading and a tough quarter in general. The elite investment bank revealed a 40% plunge in revenue compared with last year from the division that trades commodities, currencies and bonds.

Meanwhile, shares in IBM (IBM, Tech30) are set to tumble by about 3% as investors react to the company’s latest earnings.

3. Stock market overview: Stock markets keep hitting record highs this month.

The Nasdaq hit an all-time high on Tuesday. The S&P 500 hit its highest closing level on Tuesday as well. And the Dow Jones industrial average hit an all-time high last week.

But the rally may not last.

U.S. stock futures are moving sideways ahead of the open. European markets are mixed in early trading.

Most Asian markets ended the day with gains.

Investors will be closely monitoring U.S.-China talks on Wednesday. Senior officials from the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, are sitting down to talk about trade, markets and finance.

4. Up in the air: Airlines will be in focus Wednesday after Mexico’s civil aviation authority announced that passengers on direct flights from Mexico to the U.S. will have to undergo extra security checks for portable electronic devices larger than a smartphone.

Mexico’s civil aviation authority issued the alert late Tuesday, saying they were informed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to implement the extra layer of security. The checks start Wednesday.

No additional information was given on the reason for the change in security protocol.

Airports around the world that serve as a final point of departure to the U.S. have been sent a list of enhanced security measures.

A laptop ban has been lifted on nine out of 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa after they implemented tougher measures, DHS spokesman Dave Lapan said Tuesday.

The ban is expected to be lifted on the remaining airport — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — in the coming days, he said.

It was imposed because officials feared larger electronic devices could be used to smuggle explosives on board.

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5. Coming this week:

Wednesday Morgan Stanley (MS), American Express (AXP), T-Mobile US (TMUS) earnings
ThursdayMicrosoft (MSFT, Tech30), eBay (EBAY) and Visa (V) earnings; Carrier layoffs begin; European Central Bank and Bank of Japan announce policy decisions
Friday General Electric (GE) and Honeywell (HON) earnings

CNNMoney (London) First published July 19, 2017: 5:44 AM ET


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