Icahn’s Latest Play And Glencore’s Delayed Merger: Morning Buzzers

The U.S. equity markets struck out for positive territory on Tuesday morning, despite mixed economic news from Europe and Asia. A new Markit report shows that euro zone manufacturing PMI declined to a three-month low, while EU unemployment edged up 0.1 point to 10.9 percent.

Futures at 8:45 a.m.: DJIA: +0.34%, S&P 500: +0.36%, NASDAQ: +0.56%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Tuesday morning:

Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) climbed as much as 8.13 percent in pre-market trading after news got out that Carl Icahn owns a 9.3 percent stake (worth about $591 million) in the company. Nuance Communications builds voice recognition software and is reportedly the mastermind behind Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri.

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Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) paid Blackstone (NYSE:BX) as much as $25 million to subsidize the company’s go-shop process, according to the New York Times. The report quotes the proxy statement: “The Blackstone consortium informed the special committee that it was not willing to proceed with its evaluation of the transaction contemplated” unless “it received an agreement from the company to reimburse the Blackstone consortium’s out-of-pocket expenses in connection with its evaluation of a possible transaction.”

eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) enjoyed another pre-market boost on Tuesday. Analysts at Topeka Capital upgraded the stock from Hold to Buy with a price target of $65, a 16.7 percent upside on Monday’s closing price.

Glencore once again had to push back the date by which it expects to complete its merger with Xstrata because of an ongoing investigation in China. As the largest buyer of materials produced by the companies, China has to give the $35 billion deal — the largest in the sector to date — the green light. Glencore believes that discussions are in the final stages, but that a deal won’t be reached by April 16 as previously planned.

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Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) was up as much as 4.66 percent in pre-market trading on rumors that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) were working on a breakup bid for the company. Reports suggest that Verizon would buy Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless while AT&T would take over the company’s non-U.S. assets.

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