Apple’s Allusion, Citigroup’s Settlement, and a Merger: Morning Buzzers

Stock futures declined on Wednesday morning following a pessimistic economic outlook report from the OECD. The organization lowered its 2013 and 2014 global GDP growth forecasts from 3.4 to 3.1 and 4.2 to 4.0 percent, respectively.

U.S. futures at 8:45 a.m.: DJIA: -0.46%, S&P 500: -0.51%, NASDAQ: -0.37%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Wednesday morning

Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to merge with Shuanghui International Holdings in a deal that values the meat products company at approximately $7.1 billion. The merger will include the assumption of Smithfield Foods’ debt. Shareholders will receive $34.00 per share, a premium of approximately 31 percent over the stock’s closing price on May 28.

Michael Kors Holdings (NYSE:KORS) climbed as much as 3 percent in pre-market trading after reporting fourth-quarter and fiscal-2013 financial results. The luxury designer and retailer reported that fourth-quarter revenues increased 57.1 percent on the year to $597.2 million, while comparable-store sales increased 36.7 percent. Reported earnings increased 123.9 percent to $0.50 per share. Gross profit margin increased from 57.7 percent in the year-ago period to 59.7 percent. First-quarter earnings are expected to be in a range between $0.46 and $0.48 per share.

NEW! Discover a new stock idea each week for less than the cost of 1 trade. CLICK HERE for your Weekly Stock Cheat Sheets NOW!

Health Management Associates (NYSE:HMA) climbed as much as 1.5 percent in pre-market trading after announcing that President and CEO Gary Newsome will retire effective July 31.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) stock was off fractionally in pre-market trading following reports that the discount retailer pleaded guilty to improperly dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri. The company was charged with six counts of violating the Clean Water Act in California and violated federal pesticide disposal laws in Missouri, and will pay nearly $82 million in fines.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) was off about 1 percent in pre-market trading. The bank has reportedly settled with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which accused it of misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into purchasing $3.5 billion in mortgage-backed securities. The agency hasn’t revealed the size of the fine, but a spokesman said the settlement was “satisfactory.”

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was off fractionally in pre-market trading. CEO Tim Cook alluded to the company’s product pipeline at the All Things Digital tech conference on Tuesday, revitalizing a modicum of speculation about what the company has in the works.

Why Did Super Tuesday’s Euphoria Dull? The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at another record high, but the day finished with an interesting reversal as major U.S. indexes finished well off their earlier highs and bonds slumped hard, while VIX, the fear index, spiked higher. Also, margin interest remains at record highs not seen since the summer of 2007… (Read more.)

NEW! Discover a new stock idea each week for less than the cost of 1 trade. CLICK HERE for your Weekly Stock Cheat Sheets NOW!

6 States Plotting Insurance Attacks on Gun Owners: A new spark of gun-control proposals has been springing up across the country since January, and the District of Columbia looks like it’s next in line. The D.C. council is working to discourage gun ownership as it attempts to implement a bill that would require potential gun owners to buy liability insurance. Under proposed rules, without a policy of at least $250,000, D.C. would not consider applications for the registration of a firearm. Should the bill pass the full council, it will be the first jurisdiction in the country to require gun owners to carry insurance… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Not Every Blue Chip Loves Tuesdays.