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Pre-Market: Apple Against Icahn's Buyback Proposal; Twitter Extends Slump

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Japan just ended a bumper year.

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As investors look forward to data showing an uptick in pending home sales, futures on Wall Street are heading higher today.

US stocks ended the last full week of 2013 higher, though the major indices fell slightly on Friday. Futures are mixed going into Monday morning. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.07% at 16,432. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.05% to 1,837.40 and futures on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) sank 0.04% to 3,569.00. Gold prices fell 1% to $1,202. Volume is expected to be lower this week as well, due to the New Year's holiday.

The economic calendar today has pending home sales and Texas-area manufacturing data due at 10 a.m. American pending home sales are projected to have risen 1.5% in November. The Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey's Business Activity Index is projected to rise to 4.0 this month from 1.9 in November.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) told its shareholders to vote against Carl Icahn's proposal to use the company's cash reserves to buy back shares. Icahn would like Apple to commit $50 billion or more to buying back shares to boost share prices. Apple already offers a quarterly dividend to return profits to shareholders.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) fell 4% in the pre-market today, extending Friday's losses. The micro-blog site dropped 13% on Friday after Macquarie Capital downgraded the shares, saying that they have risen too fast. Since its November IPO, Twitter is up 42%.

Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY), the French drug company, suffered a setback today when its drug for multiple sclerosis was rejected by the US FDA. The regulator says that there is not yet enough evidence that the drug, Lemtrada, works well enough to offset side effects.

Crocs Inc (NASDAQ:CROX) jumped 13.2% after it said that Blackstone (NYSE:BX) will pay $200 million for a 13% stake in the plastic shoe company. The current CEO will retire in April.

Japan closed the last trading day of a record year. The Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) ended 2013 at a six-year high of 16,291. The index rose 57% this year, its best performance since 1972. The government's stimulus and the central bank's aggressive money printing spurred the record inflows into equities.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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