July 28 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, July 28:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were soft on Monday at the beginning of another big week for earnings reports.

European stocks were mixed, tugged up by news of a spinoff from Reckitt Benckiser, a pharmaceutical and health company, and raised guidance from Ryanair Holdings, but also pushed lower by news of a lower revenue forecast from German cash-machine maker Wincor-Nixdorf and the cancellation of a merger deal between babywear chain Mothercare and U.S. rival Destination Maternity .

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes earnings reports from 140 companies. The pending home sales report, a forward indicator on the housing market, will arrive at 10 a.m. The Fed Funds Rate will be announced at 2:45 p.m.

Read More: Auto Sales Stay Frothy in July -- but S&P Spots a Debt Problem

3. -- U.S. stocks on Friday slipped, after some of the biggest names -- Amazon and Visa among them -- reported unimpressive numbers at the end of a big week for earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.72% to 16,960.57. The S&P 500 sank 0.48% to 1,978.34. The Nasdaq slipped 0.5% to 4,449.56. 

4. -- An arbitration court in the Hague ruled that Russia must compensate Yukos shareholders to the tune of $50 billion. Russia's takeover of the giant oil company was illegal, the court said, and Russia must pay for it. A parallel case will be decided Thursday at the European Court of Human Rights in France.

Russia likely won't recognize the legitimacy of the international tribunal ruling, but the decision is nonetheless a blow to Vladimir Putin and to Russia. 

5. -- Dollar Tree has agreed to buy Family Dollar for $8.5 billion in cash and stock. The merger will link two of the U.S.'s largest discount store chains, and comes after Carl Icahn began exerting pressure on Family Dollar to seek a buyer. The bid is a 23% premium to Family Dollar's closing share price Friday, at $60.66.

In premarket trading, Family Dollar shares were up 22% to $74. Dollar Tree shares were up 6.8% in premarket trading to $57.89.

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6. -- McDonald's restaurants in China were offering a much-reduced menu on Monday, as the fast food company reels from the continuing tainted-meat scandal.

McDonald's has stuck with the offending supplier, Shanghai Husi Food, and its owner, U.S.-based OSI, out of necessity. However, Shanghai Husi said it is recalling all food processed at its Shanghai facility.

Yum! Brands , Burger King , Papa John's and Starbucks all have stopped selling Shanghai Husi's products. 

7. -- In deal news, French yogurt-maker Danone was reportedly in talks with Hospira to sell Danone's medical and nutritional business to the U.S. injectable-drug maker. Danone has previously sought to sell the unit to Nestle and Fresenius. The unit is valued at about $4 billion.

The next question is whether Hospira will use this as an opportunity for inversion, in which U.S. companies buy foreign companies to reduce their U.S. taxes.

Danone may use the funds to attempt to buy Mead Johnson . Hospira stock was trading up 1.2% in premarket trading, to $52.35.