A Billion-Dollar Bid, a Reduced Forecast, and a Weak Yen: Morning Buzzers

Global political and economic leaders met in Washington on Friday to discuss, among other things, Japan’s ambitious quantitative easing program. Some global leaders, particularly those in developing nations, expressed concern that the scale of this policy would adversely affect international trade as the yen continued to weaken. (On Monday morning, the yen traded at 99.7470 to the dollar.)

However, consensus seems to be that G20 leaders gave a nod to the BoJ’s program, and leaders accepted Japan’s government into pan-Pacific free-trade talks. Trade partners seem willing to tolerate a weak yen, provided Japan is able to successfully grow its economy.

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The re-election of President Giorgio Napolitano helped drive up European markets in mid-day trading. Investors and economists hope that his ongoing presence in Italy’s leadership will help spur political unity and economic stability.

U.S. futures at 8:35 a.m.: DJIA: +0.35%, NASDAQ: +0.43%, NASDAQ: +0.58%.

Here are the top stock stories buzzing on Monday morning…

Here’s what’s buzzing on Monday morning:

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) climbed as much as 1.2 percent in pre-market trading, despite a disappointing first-quarter report. Earnings fell 44.7 percent to $1.31 per share, below estimates for $1.40. Revenue fell 17.3 percent to $13.21 billion, below estimates for $13.7 billion. The company also revised its 2013 outlook “to reflect sales and revenues in a range of $57 to $61 billion, with profit per share of about $7.00 at the middle of the sales and revenues outlook range. The previous outlook for 2013 sales and revenues was a range of $60 to $68 billion and profit per share of $7.00 to $9.00.”

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Power-One (NASDAQ:PWER) soared more than 56 percent in pre-market trading on Monday. The company — which designs, manufactures, and sells renewable-energy power-supply products for a variety of industries — announced that it has agreed to be acquired by the Swiss industrial group ABB (NYSE:ABB) for $6.35 per share, or about $1 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year and is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

Elan Corp. (NYSE:ELN) has unanimously rejected the $11.25 per-share acquisition offer submitted by Royalty Pharma. Chairman Robert Ingram commented that the offer “grossly undervalues Elan’s current business platform and our future prospects.” Shares climbed as much as 1.2 percent in pre-market trading.

LG Display (NYSE:LPL) remained flat in pre-market trading despite a weak earnings report. The company did return to profitability in the most-recent quarter, but demand from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which accounts for as much as 30 percent of the company’s revenue, is reportedly dwindling. The results have sparked some concern that LG Display may be losing its edge against Samsung (SSNLF.PK).

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