Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are higher this morning as a sharp rise in oil prices powers a broader market rally. Crude oil futures have soared out of their recent range in the last 48 hours, on hopes that major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia may start to cooperate on cutting back production. They’re now at $49.44 a barrel, the highest level since July. Markets are taking that as good news for the world economy because it will support the purchasing power of a number of key emerging markets. The dollar, meanwhile, is flat against the euro but lower against many other currencies.
Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Dan Primack on why Ellen Kullman’s ouster at Dupont should worry GE CEO Jeff Immelt. It all comes down to the same famous–or infamous, as one might see it–activist investor. Read more here.
Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. AB InBev makes a formal offer for SABMiller
AB InBev, the world’s largest brewing group and the company behind Budweiser and Stella Artois, has made a formal offer of 42.15 pounds a share for London-listed SABMiller, valuing it at $104 billion. SABMiller, the world’s number 2 brewer, has issued a statement saying it doesn’t like the offer, which would see SABMiller shareholders forced to accept a new, unlisted class of share that they could only convert into common AB InBev stock after a five-year lock-up. However, the SABMiller board appears to be divided on the issue: it was unanimous in rejecting two earlier offers of 40 pounds and 42 pounds as “significantly” undervaluing it. But Altria, the group’s largest shareholder, dissented from Wednesday’s statement which made the same objection.
2. Monsanto reports.
Monsanto (MON), the maker of Roundup and biotech seeds, reports its fourth-quarter financial results before the market open today. The company failed in its $46 billion bid for rival Syngenta in August, and now investors are looking for an update from the company on its growth plans amid a slumping farm economy. Monsanto’s shares have dropped 27% this year, well more than the 5% decline in the S&P 500 index. Analysts expect the company to report a loss of 3 cents a share on $2.79 billion in sales, according to FactSet.
3. Constellation Brands tipsy on Corona.
Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona and Svedka vodka, will report its second-quarter earnings before the market open today. Analysts expect the beverage maker to report earnings of $1.32 per share, up almost 19% year-over-year. The earnings bump is likely a credit to strong sales of its flagship Corona brand, which re-launched its can option with new packaging and introduced 18 and 24 packs. Investors will be looking for an update on how Constellation Brands’ brewery expansion is proceeding on its Nava Brewery as well as the location of a second brewery in western Mexico.
4. Nobel Prize for chemistry.
The Nobel Prize for chemistry will be released this morning in Stockholm. The contenders include Emmanuelle Charpentier of Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Germany and Jennier Doudna of the University of California, the scientists who developed the gene-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9. Also in the running is John Goodenough of the University of Texas in Austin and Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University in New York, who worked on the development of the lithium-ion battery, and, lastly, Carolyn Bertozzi of Stanford University for her research on “bioorthogonal chemistry,” a type of chemical reaction in live cells that could be used to make smart probes for medical imaging.
5. The state of U.S. consumer credit.
The Federal Reserve releases the latest consumer credit figures for August this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET. Economists anticipate that American consumers were likely extended an additional $19 billion in outstanding credit over the month. An analyst at Societe Generale attributes the pickup in outstanding credit to the large number of auto purchases. Auto sales hit 1.58 million in August, bringing the yearly total to 11.3 million cars from January through August.
Additional reporting contributed by Reuters.