Market Minute: Dish Network Bids $25.5 Billion for Sprint Nextel

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Two big takeover deals are in the works, and plunging gold prices pressure stocks.

All three of the major averages rallied by more than two percent last week, with the Dow and the S&P setting record highs along the way.

This could be a big merger Monday: Dish Network (DISH) is bidding to acquire Sprint Nextel (S). The offer – termed an informal offer and valued at more than $25 billion dollars, including debt – is intended to derail Sprint's deal with the Japanese company Softbank.

And Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) has agreed to buy Life Technologies (LIFE) for more than $13 billion dollars. Both companies make laboratory equipment. Life Technologies' stock has jumped 25 percent since it put itself up for sale in January. At least two other groups had been considering bids.

Earnings season kicks into high gear this week. Citigroup (C) topped expectations on both earnings and revenue.
Freeport McMoRan (FCX) and Newmont Mining (NEM) are both under pressure as the price of gold tumbles more than 6 percent this morning. That's partly because of signs of slowing growth in China.

In an effort to settle a long running anti-trust suit in Europe, Google (GOOG) has reportedly offered to change the way it operates its search engine. News reports say Google is prepared to make a greater distinction between its internet searches and those of competitors.

General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) are working together to develop more fuel efficient nine- and 10-speed transmissions for their cars. Some rivals, including Chrysler, are already there.

J.C. Penney (JCP) on Friday won a round in its court battle with Macy's (M). The judge said Penney could temporarily sell housewares designed by Martha Stewart, while the trial continues this week.

Dell's biggest institutional investor, Southeastern Asset Management, is stepping up its opposition to Michael Dell's effort to take the computer maker private. The investment firm has hired a proxy solicitation group and may contact shareholders directly.

–Produced by Drew Trachtenberg