GE’s Acquisition, J.C. Penney’s Lawsuit, And a Virus: Morning Buzzers

U.S. stock futures posted modest gains on Monday morning, softening some of Friday’s losses. The markets closed last week on a bad note following a weak labor market report.

At 8:50 a.m.: DJIA: +0.17%, S&P 500: +0.28%, NASDAQ: +0.28%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Monday morning:

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is reportedly in negotiations with messaging platform WhatsApp. Citing an inside source, Digital Trends suggests that the acquisition could be worth as much as $1 billion as Google joins a growing movement among technology titans: to service the messaging needs of users. Shares were off fractionally in pre-market trading after sliding below $800 at the end of last week.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) and Macy’s (NYSE:M) are due back in court this week to continue the fight for the right to sell Martha Stewart-branded merchandise. Both retailers have indicated that the branded merchandise is a top seller, particularly heading through a fairly short but highly-lucrative Mother’s Day (May 12) shopping season.

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General Electric (NYSE:GE) climbed fractionally in pre-market trading after it announced a joint agreement with Lufkin (NASDAQ:LUFK) to acquire the manufacturer for $3.3 billion, or $88.50 per share in cash. This is a 38 percent premium on the stock’s Friday closing price, and about 20 percent higher than the mean analyst price target of $73.50. Lufkin stock was up 37 percent in pre-market trading.

BioCryst (NASDAQ:BCRX) stock was up 21 percent in pre-market trading, apparently capitalizing on at least three more H7N9 infections in China. The company’s experimental antiviral drug — Peramivir, which was authorized for emergency use in the treatment of certain H1N1 patients — is expected to see the green light in China.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is due to release earnings after the markets close today. Analysts are looking for earnings of about $0.08 per share on revenue of $5.89 billion.

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