Dish Bids For Sprint, Citigroup Beats, and Gold Plummets: Morning Buzzers

A series of weaker-than-expected economic indicators out of China weighed on global markets on Monday. Chinese GDP grew 7.7 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, below expectations for 8.0 percent growth. Industrial production grew 8.9 percent, below expectations for 10 percent growth.

Futures at 8:45 a.m.: DJIA: -0.20%, S&P 500: -0.34%, NASDAQ: -0.28%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Monday morning:

Citigroup (NYSE:C) climbed as much as 1.6 percent in pre-market trading after reporting first-quarter earnings that beat expectations. Earnings of $1.23 per share came in ahead of expectations for $1.17 per share. Revenue of $20.5 billion was just ahead of expectations for $20.15 billion. Net credit loss of $3.0 billion declined 25 percent on the year. Deposits climbed 3 percent to $934 billion.

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Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) was off as much as 1.6 percent in pre-market trading, curbing 2.7 percent gains on Friday. Dish announced on Monday a $25.5 billion merger proposal ($7.00 per share) with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which was up as much as 15.3 percent in pre-market trading to $7.17 per share. The proposal is meant to derail Softbank’s proposal to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion. “The DISH proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal,” said Charlie Ergen, chairman of DISH Network, in a statement.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) climbed as much as 4.6 percent in pre-market trading after announcing that it will acquire Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE), which climbed 7.8 percent on the news. Thermo Fisher will acquire Life Technologies for $76.00 in cash per fully diluted common share, or approximately $13.6 billion, plus the assumption of net debt at close ($2.2 billion as of year end 2012).

Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced on Monday that they will be collaborating on nine- and 10-speed transmissions. No details were provided about how much money the companies would save by working together to develop the technology, but at a glance — with development budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars — savings are expected to be in the millions of dollars.

Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell about 4.7 percent last week, took the weekend off, and woke up Monday to a torrent of pessimism. The precious metal fell as low as $1,418.30, pressing against a price level not seen since 2011.

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