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Stock Futures Weak While Onyx Surges

Tickers in this article: AMGN APC MSFT ONXX QIHU ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were weaker Monday after a worse-than-expected durable goods orders report amid speculation about when the Federal Reserve is most likely to begin cutting back on the stimulus measures that have helped fuel equity markets for two years.

Futures for the S&P 500 were off 1.25 points, or 0.95 points below fair value, to 1,660.25. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 21 points, or 12.51 points below fair value, to 14,969. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 1 point, or 1.07 points below fair value, to 3,122.25.

Market action is expected to be choppy this week as investors remain sensitive to a number of economic releases in the coming days in the build-up to the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting announcement on Sept. 18. Investors are anticipating that the Fed will use the meeting to announce the beginning of a stimulus wind-down, especially if employment data due on Sept. 6 is favorable.

Microsoft shares were taking a breather, drifting down by 0.43% to $34.60 in premarket trading following sharp gains the prior session. Shares rose 7.3% on Friday to $34.75 after CEO Steve Ballmer said he would step down after his successor is chosen within the next 12 months.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals was surging 5.8% to $123.74 and Amgen was gaining 5.11% to $111. Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology company by sales, reached a deal to buy cancer drugmaker Onyx Pharmaceuticals for about $10.4 billion in cash. Amgen will acquire Onyx for $125 a share ; the deal is expected to be completed at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Anadarko Petroleum was jumping 3.2% to $92.70 after the oil and gas company said it will sell a 10% stake in its Mozambique Offshore natural gas assets for $2.64 billion in cash to a subsidiary of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

Qihoo 360 Technology was surging 10.8% to $81 after reporting stronger than expected second quarter results and third quarter guidance as expenses came in less than estimated and the company demonstrates continued revenue, traffic and market share growth. Echo He, a New York-based senior China analyst with Maxim Group has raised her price target on the stock to $85 from $72.

Durable goods orders declined sharply by 7.3% in July, according to the Commerce Department reported Monday before the market open. It was the largest drop since August 2012, snapping three straight months of gains. Economists on average were expecting a decline of 4%.

The second estimate on the U.S.'s second-quarter gross domestic product will be out on Thursday. Meanwhile, a number of housing reports are due this week as well, including the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index on Tuesday and the pending home sales index on Wednesday.