Stock market news

Morning Market Update 

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 14897.00 (-0.01%), S&P 500 Futures: 1608.80 (0.02%), NASDAQ Futures: 2937.00 (0.07%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3906.46 (-0.17%), DAX: 8121.29 (-0.01%), FTSE: 6521.46 (0.93%)
•    Metals: Gold: 1473.70 (0.65%), Silver: 24.10 (0.38%), Copper: 3.29 (-0.72%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 95.43 (-0.19%), Natural Gas: 4.01 (-0.67%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.44 (0.08%), Soya Bean: 13.84 (0.91%), Wheat: 7.08 (-1.24%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3107 (-0.05%), GBP/USD: 1.5546 (-0.18%), USD/JPY: 99.2200 (0.23%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.744% (0.005)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures edge higher: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a modestly higher open on Monday as investors take a breather following the S&P 500’s record run above 1,600. No major economic reports or earnings are scheduled for release on Monday.

European markets in the red: European markets are down in a thin session on Monday. The FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) is closed for a public holiday. In economic news, Markit’s euro zone composite PMI gained in April but remained below the key level of 50 that divides growth from contraction. In Spain, jobless numbers fell 0.9 percent in April, the country’s Labor Ministry said today.

Stocks in News

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) earned $2,302 per share for the first quarter, above estimates of $1,995.50, with revenue also topping projections. Class B shares reacted in pre-market activity with a 2.5 percent gain to $111.27.

BMC Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:BMC)

A consortium led by private equity groups Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital Corp are close to acquiring BMC Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:BMC) and a deal could be announced as early as Monday, according to a Reuters report. The negotiated price of the deal is around $46 per share, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. BMC is set to announce its first-quarter results on May 7. BMC Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:BMC) shares ended trading at $45.42 on Friday and were largely unchanged in pre-market trading.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN)

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) earned 36 cents per share, excluding certain items, nine cents below the consensus estimate, with revenue also falling short. The food producer expects a challenging second quarter, but said sales should pick-up during the second-half of the year. Shares of Tyson Foods were down 5 percent in pre-market trading.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)

New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman and Delaware attorney-general Beau Biden have removed their objections to Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors in Countrywide mortgage-backed securities, according to court filings. The news comes at a time when analysts are concerned that the bank might not have set aside enough funds to cover its legal costs if the settlement wasn’t approved.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s security software unit McAfee has agreed to buy Finland’s network firewall maker Stonesoft Oyj (SFT1V) for around $389 million in cash. Stonesoft shareholders will receive 4.50 euros ($5.90) a share, more than double the May 3 closing price, the companies said today in a statement. The acquisition should help McAfee better compete against rivals such as Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC).

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) has secured approval from U.S. antitrust regulators to buy oilfield pump maker Lufkin Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LUFK) for $2.98 billion. The deal is expected to close in June and will allow GE to increase its presence in the fast-growing U.S. shale market. This is General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)’s first major acquisition since it offloaded its remaining stake in NBC Universal a couple of months ago.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)’s shares appear “cheap”, and the construction equipment maker will benefit from the ongoing economic recovery, according to an article in Barron’s. Caterpillar shares rose 2.7 percent to $86.98 on Friday, and edged higher in early hours trading.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and its joint ventures in China sold 261,870 units in April, up 15 percent from the year-ago period, the Detroit-based carmaker said Monday. That compares with a 13 percent year-on-year rise in March. The company sold 2.84 million vehicles in China last year and targets to sell 3 million units this year. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is the largest foreign automaker in China.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is planning to sell its best-selling erectile dysfunction pill Viagra online, according to the Associated Press. As part of a move to induce customers to purchase online, the drug maker will offer three free pills with the first order and 30 percent off the second one. But a prescription will still be needed.

Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC)

Real-estate investment trust Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC) will join the S&P 500 index after the close of trading May 8, replacing managed-care company Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), which is being acquired by Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), , S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement. Stocks added to the S&P 500 tend to see increased activity because many portfolio managers try to track the index. Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC) shares closed Friday at $70.42, and were up were inactive pre-market.

Economic Calendar for Monday, May 06, 2013:

11:30 A.M. ET:    3-Month Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET:    6-Month Bill Auction
12:30 P.M. ET:    TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index (April)
03:00 P.M. ET:    Treasury STRIPS