Good morning and welcome to a monster week for economic data, where we’ll learn both the latest GDP reading, and celebrate Jobs Day Friday. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Dollar Tree is buying Family Dollar for $US74.50 per share, a 22.8% premium. Family Dollar is up 20% premarket. Carl Icahn was recently Family Dollar’s largest stakeholder and stands to make up to $US131 million.
2. The Hague has ruled Russia must pay a group of shareholders in defunct oil giant Yukos $US50 billion. The ruling could have implications for current Russian oil giant Rosneft, which ended up with many Yukos assets, although the firm quickly put out a statement saying it would not be affected. But Tim Osborne, the head of the shareholder group that sued for the assets, said he couldn’t be 100% sure Rosneft’s Western holdings would be “safe.”
3. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel said she was ready to back a halt on current arms sales to Russia and would take part in an EU Council session if one was convened. She had already been hoping to have the EU sign off on a sanctions by the end of this week, according to Businessweek, saying she was prepared to take a hit on German technology exports as an expected reprisal. German intelligence also says cracks have begun performing in Vladimir Putin’s powerbase, with hardliners and oligarchs now vying to assert their vision for his administration.
4. As a result of all this, Russia’s MICEX index is down 1.5% and is set to see its worst performing month since March. We learned Friday the country barely escaped a technical recession.
5. Virgin America has filed for a proposed IPO. Bloomberg had earlier reported CEO Richard Branson was seeking $US509 million in financing to take some of its branded companies public.
6. The mega-week for econ data kicks off at 9:45 a.m. with the “flash” reading for services PMI. Consensus is for a reading of 60 against a prior reading of 61.2. Then at 10 we get pending home sales, which are expected to have climbed 0.3% from 6.1%. Finally at 10:30 we get the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing survey. Expectations are for a reading of 12, up from 11.4 prior.
7) Herbalife, Tyson Foods, and Denny’s all report quarterly earnings on Monday.
8. U.S. futures were a touch lower. European stocks saw mixed gains. Stocks in Asia were mostly higher. The dollar was just shy of its strongest level in eight months against the euro, according to Bloomberg, as the FOMC convenes Tuesday.
9. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning that tax inversions are increasing at “breakneck speed” and eroding the U.S. tax base. In an op-ed in The Washington Post that went online Sunday night, Lew pleads with Congress to pass legislation proposed by President Barack Obama.
10. McDonald’s France is on its way to its best year ever. Sales have climbed 4.8% since January, and CEO Jean-Pierre Petit says they should be able to maintain their current rate through the end of the year, according to Le Figaro. McDonald’s saw close to $US6 billion in French revenue last year. Petit has been CEO for 10 years, during which time he’s made “McDo” the second-most profitable regional branch in the world.
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