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Morning Market News  

Stocks that are expected to trade actively in U.S. markets on Monday include: Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF), Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO), athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN), Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC), US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV), Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc (NYSE:NSM) and Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow Futures: 13329.00 (-0.13%), S&P 500 Futures: 1455.20 (-0.17%), NASDAQ Futures: 2708.75 (-0.16%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3702.26 (-0.75%), DAX: 7734.23 (-0.54%), FTSE: 6065.20 (-0.41%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4717.30 (-0.14%), China: 2285.36 (0.37%), Hong Kong: 23321.27 (-0.04%), India: 5988.40 (-0.46%), Japan: 10599.01 (-0.84%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1647.30 (-0.10%), Silver: 30.03 (0.28%), Copper: 3.66 (-0.89%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 92.60 (-0.53%), Natural Gas: 3.33 (1.37%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.84 (-1.09%), Soya Bean: 13.76 (-1.57%), Wheat: 7.52 (-0.63%)
•    Currency: EUR/USD: 1.3063 (-0.05%), GBP/USD: 1.6067 (-0.01%), USD/JPY: 87.8800 (-0.31%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.897% (-0.002)

U.S. stock-index futures fall: U.S. stock-index futures are pointing to a lower open on Monday after the S&P 500 finished at a five-year high on Friday, helped by better than expected December’s jobs report and data from the ISM non-manufacturing index. No major economic reports are expected today.

Stocks to Watch

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN)

Roche Holding AG Chairman Franz Humer said the Swiss pharmaceutical group is no longer considering a bid for U.S. genetics company Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), according to a Reuters report. Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) had last year repeatedly rebuffed Roche’s unsolicited $6.8 billion offer, saying the price undervalued the company. Separately, Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) has agreed to buy privately-held prenatal test company Verinata Health Inc for $350 million plus up to $100 million in milestone payments through 2015. Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) plunged more than 8 percent in Monday morning trade.

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX)’s pay-TV giant HBO has extended its deal with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures for the rights to the studio’s movies through 2022. Universal Pictures’ current agreement with HBO was set to expire in 2015. HBO also has an exclusive agreement with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX)’s Warner Brothers. Shares of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) were inactive before the open.

Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU)

Shares of grocery chain Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) are likely to be in focus following reports that private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP is close to an agreement to buy parts of Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU), and an announcement is likely as early as this week. Supervalu, which owns store chains that include Jewel-Osco, Save-A-Lot and Albertsons, is set to disclose its quarterly numbers on Thursday and could unveil a deal by then, the Wall Street Journal reported citing a person with knowledge of the situation. Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) moved higher in pre-market trading.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF)

“Texas Chainsaw 3D,” the horror film from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF), finished atop the box-office chart in the U.S. and Canada, generating $23 million in its opening weekend. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF) spent about $20 million to promote the movie and ran an extensive social media campaign. Ticket sales were also helped by the fact that “Texas Chainsaw 3D” was the only new nationwide release in North America over the weekend. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF) last year raked in $791.7 million in box- office receipts, finishing seventh among major studios. Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF) close at $17.36 on Friday.

Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO)

Hostess Brands is reportedly in talks with Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) and Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo to sell parts of its bread business, The Wall Street Journal reported. The bread brands that include Wonder Bread, Nature’s Pride, Home Pride, Merita, and Butternut, could fetch more than $350 million. Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) and Grupo Bimbo’s U.S. division, Bimbo Bakeries USA, declined to comment on the report. Shares of Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) were inactive before the open.

athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN), Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC)

athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN) has agreed to buy clinical information provider Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC) for about $293 million in cash. athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN) will pay $11.75 a share for Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC), a 22 percent premium to its Friday close. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC) provides drug information to doctors using the PalmPilot. The application was last month rated the “Most Important Mobile Health-Care App” in an online poll conducted by ModernHealthcare.com. Shares of athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN) fell in early trade, while Epocrates Inc. Epocrates, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPOC) was trading slightly higher than the offer price.

US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC)

American Airlines and US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC) have signed a ‘pilot’s agreement’ which could potentially smooth the path to any merger of the two carriers. US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), which has pursued the merger for more than a year, had last April persuaded all three of American’s big unions to back its merger plans. Shares of US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC) close at $14.73 on Friday.

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) declared its first quarterly cash dividend of 40 cents per share, payable on February 15, 2013 to stockholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2013. Drug company AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) split from parent Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) on January 1. AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) shares were inactive in morning trade.

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc (NYSE:NSM)

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc (NYSE:NSM) soared in pre-market trading after the company agreed to pay $1.3 billion to buy $215 billion in residential mortgage servicing rights from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc (NYSE:NSM) said it now expects 2013 earnings of between $3.70 and $4.35 a share.

Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP)

Office-supply chain Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) announced the resignation of Kevin Peters, president of its North American business. Peters served the company for five years in various senior capacities, according to the company’s website. Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP), which is in the midst of efforts to improve profitability, said in November that sales declines should ease over the next couple of years as it moves ahead with its turnaround strategies. Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP) were inactive before the open.

Economic Calendar for Monday, January 07, 2013:

11:00 A.M. ET:    4-Week Bill Announcement
11:30 A.M. ET:    3-Month Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET:    6-Month Bill Auction
03:00 P.M. ET:    Treasury STRIPS

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