The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lost 37 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a lower start to the stock market today. Global indexes fell in overnight trading after Wall Street's long weekend: Japan's Nikkei lost 0.4% and European shares were down 0.8% as of 8:30 a.m. EDT. Second-quarter earnings season kicks off this week with aluminum giant Alcoa posting its results tomorrow. Investors will also learn more details about the Federal Reserve's monetary policy plans when the central bank releases minutes from its June meeting on Wednesday.
Archer Daniels Midland said this morning that it is buying WILD Flavors for $3.1 billion. The all-cash deal will give ADM a strong position in the market for natural flavors and ingredients, which CEO Patricia Woertz called in a press release "one of the largest and fastest growing consumer trends in both developed and emerging markets." Adding WILD Flavors' $1.4 billion in annual sales should also help ADM book more consistent earnings growth in the future, with significantly fewer volatile profit swings. Still, management only expects modest gains from this acquisition in the near term: cost savings won't really ramp up until about three years after the deal's close, the company said. Archer Daniels Midland's stock was down 0.44% in pre-market trading.
Expedia announced over the weekend that it is acquiring Australian-based travel company Wotif Group for $658 million. Wotif owns a portfolio of websites that focus on travel bookings in the Asia-Pacific region, which Expedia sees as a critical growth market in the years ahead. That region has some of the lowest penetration rates of online travel in the world: 27% of travel spending happens online there right now, as compared to 61% in the United States. But Internet use is ramping up and pulling the entire Asia-Pacific travel market up higher along with it. The deal will push Expedia closer to its goal of achieving more than half of its worldwide revenue from international markets. That figure stood at 47% last quarter, and Wotif's $600 million in annual gross bookings will edge it closer to 50%. Expedia's stock was up 1.1% in pre-market trading.