US STOCKS-Futures higher as Ukraine concern eases; M&A boost

lunes 18 de agosto de 2014 08:01 GYT

* Dollar General offers to buy Family Dollar

* Russia says humanitarian convoy issue resolved, but no ceasefire

* Futures up: Dow 88 pts, S&P 10.5 pts, Nasdaq 22 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday, as the threat of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine appeared to lessen and the latest round of merger action supported equities.

* Russia said all issues related to it sending a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine had been resolved but said no progress has been made in talks toward a ceasefire or political solution to the fighting in the east of the country after talks between Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine on Sunday.

* But the region remained unsettled as Ukraine accused pro-Russian rebels on Monday of hitting a refugee convoy of buses with rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk, but the separatists denied responsibility.

* Merger and acquisition action continues to flourish. Discount retailer Dollar General Corp offered to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc for $8.95 billion, trumping an offer by Dollar Tree Inc. Family Dollar shares gained 5.2 percent to $80 before the opening bell while Dollar General jumped 7.9 percent to $62.