Transocean’s Succession Plan and Dell Needs Details: Morning Buzzers

U.S. retail and food services sales for April increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.1 percent on the month to $419.0 billion, beating estimates for a contraction of 0.3 percent. Excluding automobiles and gasoline, retail sales climbed 0.6 percent on the month, also better than estimates for an increase of 0.4 percent.

Retail sales data in China, also released on Monday, came in pretty much as expected, at a year-over-year gain of 12.8 percent.

Futures at 8:50 a.m.: DJIA: -0.15%, S&P 500: -0.17%, NASDAQ: -0.11%.

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Here’s what’s buzzing on Monday Morning:

Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) board has reportedly asked Carl Icahn and crew for more details about his buyout plans for the company, including information about how the deal would be financed and who the new management would be. The request comes after Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management, two of Dell’s largest shareholders, revealed an offer of $13.65 per share, which is just the latest development in an ongoing bidding war over the PC maker.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) revealed earlier in May that it will be investing as much as $16 billion worth of capital in the U.S. through 2016. As part of this program, the car maker will be spending about $200 million on dealers and showrooms in metropolitan areas of California, New York, and New Jersey. In some cases, this means relocating underperforming dealers. This initiative stacks on top of the company’s ongoing program to renovate 92 percent of its dealers by 2016.

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HSBC (NYSE:HBC) could announce even more job cuts as early as this Wednesday, according to a report in the Independent. The bank has already reduced its massive global workforce from 300,000 to about 254,000, and has closed nine business units this year alone. The new round of cuts could initiate the closure of up to 20 more business units.

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) announced that CEO Michael Talbert plans to step down from the company no later than a year from the next shareholder meeting on May 17. The news comes as Carl Icahn, who opposes Talbert’s re-election to the CEO position, increases his involvement in a proxy battle with the company. Shares were off nearly 1 percent in pre-market trading.

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