U.S. stock futures advanced on Tuesday morning ahead of the reading of the highly-watched State Street Investor Confidence Index. Support from central banks around the world at the end of last week and over the weekend seems to have helped calm jittery investor nerves.
The 20-City S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index increased a seasonally-adjusted 1.1 percent on the month in March and 10.9 percent on the year, edging out expectations and suggesting that the housing market continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. economic recovery.
Heading into the open: DJIA: +0.76%, S&P 500: +0.81%, NASDAQ: +0.91%.
Here’s what’s buzzing on Tuesday morning:
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will likely have to make more concessions to European Union regulators in order to end a three-year anti-competitive investigation in the region. Broadly speaking, the case against Google in Europe is based off the fact that more than 80 percent of searches conducted in the region use its engine. Competitors such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have accused the company of abusing its position as the market leader and violating the spirit of market competition.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) surged nearly 10 percent in pre-market trading after announcing that it will acquire Bausch + Lomb Holdings — a leading eye health company with pharmaceutical, vision care, and surgical segments — for $8.7 billion in cash. The transaction will be financed with debt and approximately $1.5 – $2.0 billion of new equity.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF). After reporting first-quarter financial results that came in largely ahead of expectations, worldwide net sales increased 8 percent to $895 million, while net earnings increased 3 percent to $84 million, or $0.65 per share. Gross margin (as a percentage of net sales) declined from 57.3 to 56.2 percent, reflecting what management articulated as “a shift in sales mix toward higher-priced, lower gross margin products.” Outlook for 2013 remains unchanged with a forecast of net earnings in a range between $3.43 and $3.53 per diluted share.
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) climbed 2.4 percent in pre-market trading after announcing that it will acquire Omthera Pharmaceuticals — a specialty developer of new therapies for dyslipidemia — for $12.70 per share, or $323 million, a premium of approximately 88 percent of the closing price on Friday.
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