An Antitrust Investigation and a CEO Ousting: Morning Buzzers

U.S. stock futures edged higher on Tuesday morning, buoyed by what appears to be an auspicious start to earnings season. However, data compiled by Bloomberg suggests that income at S&P 500 companies probably fell by 1.8 percent last quarter.

U.S. markets at 9:53 a.m.: DJIA: +0.10%, S&P 500: +0.21%, NASDAQ: +0.12%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Tuesday morning:

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) was off as much as 5.8 percent in pre-market trading. The company announced last night that Myron Ullman has rejoined the company as CEO, and will be replacing Ron Johnson effective immediately. Johnson appears to have been shown the door for failing to turn the beleaguered retail giant around. However, Ullman, who was CEO before Johnson, also has his critics.

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Ford (NYSE:F) edged about 0.5 percent higher in pre-market trading after closing Monday up 2.73 percent. Citing data from Polk, Ford reported that its Focus was the best-selling vehicle nameplate worldwide in 2012, and said that 2013 was off to an equally strong start…

Alcoa (NYSE:AA), the world’s third-largest producer of aluminum and a Dow Jones Industrial Average component, kicked off earnings season on Monday after the markets closed. The stock closed the day up 1.82 percent, although it gave up 0.8 percent in pre-market trading. Revenue of $5.8 billion was marginally below expectations, while earnings of $0.11 per share beat expectations for $0.08 per share.

Fisker Automotive could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as early as this week, according to Reuters. Sources tell the publication that attorneys have already drawn up the documents. The company, which makes plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, has nearly $200 million in loans from the Department of Energy, and fired 75 percent of its workforce on Friday.

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Mastercard (NYSE:MA) is reportedly the target of an investigation in the European Union. Regulators are looking into whether the company’s fees for non-EU cardholders and related business activities violate EU antitrust laws by curbing competition.

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