New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced yesterday that he would be launching an investigation into energy company Exxon Mobil (XOM) to see whether the company lied about its impact on the environment and climate change. According to the New York Times, "The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research." Shares of Exxon Mobile are down more than 8% on the year on weaker demand for oil and low crude prices, though up 22% from year lows.

There is speculation that Exxon Mobil is just the first company to be investigated on this issue and that many more may follow, including British Petroleum (BP), Shell (RDS.A), and Chevron (CVX). This news is a win for environmentalists and those in the alternative energy sector, who see this as evidence that oil companies knew the environmental damage that fossil fuels can cause.

AstraZeneca to Buy ZS Pharma

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (AZN) has announced it intends to acquire ZS Pharma (ZSPH) in a $2.7 billion deal so that it can obtain new drugs for its pipeline. ZS Pharma develops novel drugs to treat ailments of the kidneys and heart, including ZS-9 which has completed Phase III trials. Shares of ZSPH are up more than 40% before the open, close to the proposed takeover price of $90 a share. AstraZeneca shares are little changed.

What to Watch:

Important employment data is out this morning including nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate. The headline unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 5.1%. A positive jobs report will be a signal to the Fed that the economy is strong enough to handle and interest rate hike next month.

Companies reporting earnings today include: insurance company Cigna (CI), healthcare insurer Humana (HUM), Warren Buffet's congolmerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), and Biota Pharmaceuticals (BOTA).

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