Morning Market News:

Post Market news

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Monday include: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), American Realty Capital Properties Inc (NASDAQ:ARCP), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL)

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 15166.00 (0.44%), S&P 500 Futures: 1634.10 (0.31%), NASDAQ Futures: 2984.75 (0.15%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3951.12 (0.06%), DAX: 8351.53 (0.03%), FTSE: 6553.52 (-0.45%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4888.30 (-0.78%), China: 2299.25 (-0.06%), Hong Kong: 22282.19 (-0.49%), Japan: 13261.82 (-3.87%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1396.80 (0.27%), Silver: 22.50 (1.18%), Copper: 3.33 (1.08%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 92.71 (0.80%), Natural Gas: 3.98 (0.03%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 5.72 (0.80%), Soya Bean: 15.36 (0.97%), Wheat: 7.13 (1.18%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3011 (0.09%), GBP/USD: 1.5259 (0.40%), USD/JPY: 100.3400 (-0.11%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 2.171% (0.043)

Market and Economic News Update

U.S. stock-index futures gain: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a higher open on Monday as data showed factory activity edged higher in May. Markit’s manufacturing PMI rose to 52.3 in May from a six-month low of 52.1 in April. Economists were expecting a reading of 52.0. Also on the economic front, ISM manufacturing and construction spending reports are both scheduled for release at 10 A.M. ET.

European markets largely unchanged; FTSE lower: European markets were mixed despite better-than-expected euro zone manufacturing data. The manufacturing PMI for the region climbed to 48.3 in May from 46.7 in April. The DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) and the CAC 40 (INDEXEURO:PX1) were flat in trade, while the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) lost 0.5 percent to 6553.52 points. The euro zone blue-chip ESTX 50 PR.EUR (INDEXSTOXX:SX5E) (Euro Stoxx 50) is up 0.2 percent.

Asian markets end lower; Nikkei plunges close to 4 percent: The NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) hit a six-week low on Monday, following data that showed domestic companies continued to hold back on investments in the first quarter of the year. The SSE Composite Index (SHA:000001) (Shanghai Composite Index) recorded modest losses for the day after China’s HSBC’s Purchasing Manager’s Index fell to 49.2 for the month of May. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) index closed 0.8 percent lower, after a rally in banking stocks was more than offset by heavier losses from weak manufacturing data in key export market China.

Stocks in News

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be in court today, defending itself against allegations by federal and state authorities that it conspired with publishers to raise the price of electronic books. The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the country’s largest book publishers in April 2012. Apple is going to trial alone after Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, Hachette Book Group Inc and MacMillan reached settlements in which they agreed to terminate their e-book agreements with Apple Inc.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

An experimental drug from Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) known as lambrolizumab helped shrink tumors in 38 percent of patients with advanced melanoma in an early stage study, U.S. researchers said on Sunday. Merck will now move directly into a late-stage clinical trial for the drug, which will start in the third quarter of the year. Shares of Merck jumped in pre-market trading.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is working on what may turn into a significant restructuring of the company, according to All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher. Citing people who claim to have knowledge of Microsoft’s plans, Swisher said that the company is trying to transition from a software giant to a more “devices and services company.” Microsoft declined to comment on the report.

American Realty Capital Properties Inc (NASDAQ:ARCP), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

American Realty Capital Trust IV, a real estate investment trust owned by the American Realty Capital Properties Inc will buy a portfolio of retail properties from General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)’s financial arm for $1.45 billion. The acquisition includes 986 properties leased to Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW), DineEquity Inc (NYSE:DIN)’s Applebee’s and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM). American Realty Capital Trust IV will finance the deal using a combination of cash and debt. This is the second deal between American Realty Capital and GE in less than a week.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN)

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) said data from an interim trial of its melanoma drug T-Vec showed that it improved survival in certain skin cancer patients by 21 percent compared with standard treatment. Details of the trial were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Saturday. The company is currently in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about how to move forward and seek regulatory approval for the drug.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL)

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) posted fiscal third quarter profit of $1.02 per share, eight cents above the consensus estimates, with revenue also topping projections. The restaurant chain also raised its yearly forecast, sending shares higher in pre-market trading. In addition, the company raised its quarterly dividend by 50 percent to 75 cents a share, payable on August 5 to shareholders of record as of July 19.

Economic Calendar for Monday, June 03, 2013:

07:20 A.M. ET:    San Francisco Fed President John Williams speaks.
08:00 A.M. ET:    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks.
08:58 A.M. ET:    PMI Manufacturing Index (May)
10:00 A.M. ET:    ISM Manufacturing Index (May)
10:00 A.M. ET:    Construction Spending (April)
11:30 A.M. ET:    3-Month Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET:    6-Month Bill Auction
05:00 P.M. ET:    Total Vehicle Sales (May)