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Futures lifted by M&A activity, vaccine hopes

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(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures climbed on Monday on signs of progress in COVID-19 vaccine development and a flurry of multi-billion dollar deals, including a report of Oracle winning the battle for the U.S. arm of TikTok.

Shares of Oracle ORCL.N surged 8.4% in premarket trading, leading gains among the S&P 500 constituents after sources told Reuters the cloud services firm is entering a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale to try to navigate geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington.

A Microsoft Corp MSFT.O led consortium that included Walmart Inc WMT.N was also in talks for TikTok's U.S. business. Their shares fell marginally.

Wall Street is coming off of two straight weeks of losses, as investors sold heavyweight technology shares such as Apple Inc AAPL.O and Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O that had powered the market's strong rally since March.

Global equities got a lift on Monday after drugmaker AstraZeneca AZN.L resumed its British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development.

Pfizer Inc PFE.N also rose 1.8% after the drugmaker and German biotech firm BioNTech SE 22UAy.F proposed expansion of their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to about 44,000 participants.

Later this week investors will pay attention to the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting before the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential elections.

Gilead Sciences Inc GILD.O slipped 0.6% as it said will acquire biotech company Immunomedics Inc IMMU.O for $21 billion, a move that will strengthen its cancer portfolio by gaining access to a promising drug.

Nvidia Corp NVDA.O added 6.6% on plans to buy UK-based chip designer Arm from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T for as much as $40 billion, in a deal set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape.

At 6:20 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 223 points, or 0.81%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 36 points, or 1.08% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 152.5 points, or 1.38%.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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