JPMorgan Loses an Executive and Bayer Makes a Buyout Bid: Morning Buzzers

Stock futures advanced on Monday morning, indicating a higher open for the U.S. markets. Data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that personal income increased slightly slower than expected in March at +0.2 percent on the month, but that spending increased more than expected, also at +0.2 percent on the month.

Futures at 8:50 a.m.: DJIA: +0.31%, S&P 500: +0.32%, NASDAQ: +0.36%.

Here’s what’s buzzing on Monday Morning:

Bayer AG (BAYZF.PK) announced on Monday morning that it has signed a merger agreement with Conceptus (NASDAQ:CPTS), a California-based healthcare company most known for Essure, a permanent birth-control system. The transaction values Conceptus at about $1.1 billion, or $31.00 per share, a 20 percent premium on Friday’s closing price. The deal is still subject to anti-trust approval in the U.S.

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JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) announced on Sunday that Frank Bisignano, co-Chief Operating Officer, is leaving the company effective immediately in order to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer at First Data Corp., a payment-processing company. Matt Zames, the other co-COO, will become sole COO effective immediately.

Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) is due to report earnings after the bell. Analysts are expecting the nutrient-supply company to earn $1.06 per share on revenue of $1.11 billion. The company currently sits in the crosshairs of several hedge-fund managers such as Dan Ackman, who has a short position in the stock, and Carl Icahn, who has helped appoint two people to the company’s board.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) continue to attract attention as whispers and speculation about a possible buyout or merger circulate. Reuters reports that a $100 billion bid for Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless was not enough to convince six major Vodafone investors, who reportedly want at least $120 billion for the stake.

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