A Downgrade, a Market Record, and a New CEO: Morning Buzzers

Stock futures edged up on Tuesday morning, chasing gains in the European markets. Germany’s DAX climbed to an all-time intraday high on the back of a strong factory orders report. Orders in March climbed 2.2 percent sequentially and declined just 0.4 percent on the year. Economists were expecting a 0.5 percent decline sequentially and a 2.3 percent decline on the year.

U.S. futures at 8:45 a.m.: DJIA: +0.25%, S&P 500: +0.18%, NASDAQ: +0.25%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Tuesday morning:

Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) announced on Tuesday that Paul Walsh will step down from the company’s board of directors at the September 2013 Annual General Meeting, and will retire from the company at the end of June in 2014. He will bee succeeded by Ivan Menezes, who is currently COO.

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Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) stock climbed as much as 2.8 percent in pre-market trading on Tuesday. The game publisher announced on Monday that it has signed a multi-year exclusive licensing agreement to develop and published new games based on the Star Wars franchise. EA commented:”Under the agreement, EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles for a core gaming audience, spanning all interactive platforms and the most popular game genres, while Disney will retain certain rights to develop new titles within the mobile, social, tablet and online game categories.”

OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE:OMX) climbed as much as 1 percent in pre-market trading after reporting a special dividend of $1.50 per share alongside its first-quarter 2013 financial results. Reported sales declined 5.7 percent to $1.76 billion (down 4.3 percent on an adjusted basis), missing the mean estimate of $1.83 billion. Adjusted income fell 50 percent to $0.11 per share, missing the mean estimate of $0.23 per share.

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American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) stock was off about 1.4 percent in pre-market trading. The insurance company was slapped with a downgrade from Buy to Neutral from Goldman Sachs. The firm sees limited upside potential in the stock now that it has climbed more than 24 percent since the beginning of 2013. Shares closed Monday about 4.8 percent above the mean analyst price target.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) fell as much as 1.9 percent in pre-market trading after reporting first-quarter financial results. Revenue rose 51.9 percent to $755, beating the mean estimate of $725.26 million. Adjusted earnings increased from -$0.08 to $0.69 per share on the year, but still fell short of the mean estimate of $0.75 per share.

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