10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Argentina germany world cupREUTERS/David GreyArgentina’s Gonzalo Higuain collides with Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (top) during their 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014.

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.

The Latest Tax Inversion Mega-Deal. Dublin-based drugmaker Shire is willing to recommend a $US53 billion takeover bid by Chicago-based AbbVie, a move which would allow the U.S. company to take advantage of Ireland’s low tax rates. This is the latest in a series of M&A proposals with this controversial “tax inversion” plan at its core.

Another Pharma Deal. Abbott Laboratories will sell its non-U.S. developed markets branded generic drug business to Mylan Inc. for $5.3 billion in an all-stock transaction.

Europe’s Economy Is Stumbling. Euro zone industrial production activity fell by 1.1% in May, reversing a 0.7% gain in April. While this wasn’t as bad as the 1.2% decline expected by economists, it nevertheless puts more pressure on the European Central Bank to become more aggressive in its efforts to stimulate the economy and stoke inflation.

Citi On Deck. Global banking giant Citi announces its Q2 financial results later this morning. Analysts expect the bank to earn $US1.05 per share. Lately, Wall Street has been slammed by weak mortgage demand and slowing trading activity.

Also In Citi News. Citigroup will pay $US7 billion to end the U.S. Justice Department’s probe into the bank’s handling of mortgage bonds. Citi expects to see a $US3.8 billion pretax charge in Q2.

Markets Are Up. Asian markets closed higher overnight with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.8% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.5%. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 0.7%, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.5%, and Germanys DAX is up 0.7%. U.S. futures are up with Dow futures up 54 points and S&P futures up 6 points.

Goldman Raises Its Stock Market Target. Goldman Sachs strategist David Kostin just raised his year-end target on the S&P 500 from 1,900 to 2,050. From his note: “US equities soared 42% during the past 18 months but the stellar return borrowed heavily from the future. History shows S&P 500 rallies and the P/E multiple expands during the year prior to the start of a tightening cycle. But after tightening begins, the multiple contracts and the index typically delivers only modest returns. Incorporating our lower 10-year US Treasury yield forecast with other valuation approaches, we lift our year-end 2014 S&P 500 price target to 2050 (from 1900) and 12-month target to 2075, reflecting prospective returns of 4% and 6%, respectively.”

A China Crash Warning From A Central Bank Head. The Bank of International Settlements’ Jaime Caruana sent out a warning via an interview with The Telegraph. When asked about what would happen in the next crisis, Caruana responded: “The ramifications would be particularly serious if China, home to an outsize financial boom, were to falter.” From The Telegraph: “BIS officials doubt privately the whether China can avoid a ‘hard landing’, fearing that the extreme credit growth over the last five years must lead to a financial reckoning. They also doubt whether the aftermath will in the end be easier to deal with in a state-controlled banking system where the Communist Party controls the credit levers.”

Jeff Gundlach Has Advice For Elon Musk. Legendary bond fund manager Jeff Gundlach is bullish on the potential of Tesla’s battery business, so much so that he thinks Musk should shift more of his efforts in that direction. Here’s Gundlach in an interview with Barry Ritholtz: “I just think that the battery technology that Tesla has developed is so far ahead of everybody else that it could really have broad uses. If I was running GM, or BMW or Ford, I would be open to the idea of just buying the batteries from Tesla … If I was Elon Musk, I might go to all the other auto companies and say, I’ll make you a deal: I’ll get out of the car business, but let’s set up a long-term deal on you buying my batteries.”

No Economic Data. There is no major market-moving economic data scheduled for release in the U.S. today. On Tuesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will appear before Congress to give her Semiannual Monetary Policy Report.

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