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 September 16, 2015 - 8:52 AM EDT
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Stocks Boosted by Beer Merger

U.S. stock futures are holding steady, but there's excitement overseas, helped by a big beer merger talk.

Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials slid three points to 16,517, futures for the S&P 500 faded 1.25 points, or 0.1%, to 1,968.75, and futures for the NASDAQ dipped 0.75 points to 4,350.25.

SABMiller shares are surging by about 18% in London after the global beer giant revealed that competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev is planning to make a takeover offer.

These are the two biggest beer companies in the world, based on the volume of drinks they sell. Their combined market capitalization is about $270 billion U.S.

Shares in AB InBev are also up about 8%.

Shares in Hewlett-Packard will likely see higher-than-normal trading volume Wednesday after the firm announced plans to cut another 25,000 to 30,000 jobs. This is the latest dramatic downsizing at the once-iconic tech company.

Meanwhile, shares in competitor Xerox are jumping pre-market, though trading volume is light.

Investors could also see significant moves from FedEx and Cracker Barrel, which are reporting earnings ahead of the open. Oracle will report quarterly results after the close.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release updated monthly inflation data this morning. The inflation metric will be closely watched ahead of the Fed rate hike decision. The Fed likes to see inflation readings near the 2% mark.

The U.S. Census Bureau is set to release 2014 information on median incomes, poverty and health insurance at 10 a.m.

Then weekly crude oil inventory numbers are expected at 10:30 am.

Traders continue to chatter excitedly about the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which begins today and ends Thursday. Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen will announce on Thursday afternoon whether the Fed will hike interest rates.

The Fed has been warning for months that a rate rise was in the cards, but many expect it will be delayed until a meeting in December.

Many European stock markets are rising by about 1% in early trade after Asian markets closed the day with a breathtaking surge.

The benchmark stock index in Shanghai rose by nearly 5% and the Shenzhen index shot up by 6.5%.

Oil prices hoisted 78 cents to $45.37 U.S. a barrel

Gold prices picked up $4.60 to $1,107.20 U.S. an ounce.

Source: WallSt Money US Market Commentary (September 16, 2015 - 8:52 AM EDT)

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