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Pre-Market: Apple Inc. Debt Sale Could Be Second Largest Ever; AstraZeneca Rejects Pfizer's Acquisition Offer

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Asian stocks decline for a third session.

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Stock futures were higher ahead of Monday's session. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.37% to 16,387. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were up 0.33% to 1,866.20. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved higher, rising 0.27% to 3,540.

Stocks

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing for a massive $17 billion bond sale. It is slated to be the second largest corporate bond sale ever. Apple will use earnings from the debt sale to fund a $90 billion share buyback, choosing not to use its $150 billion stash of cash. Most of that cash is held outside the US, and Luca Maestri, Apple's incoming finance chief, explained during Apple's earnings call last week that repatriating that cash would drive significant tax consequences. Maestri went on to explain Apple's domestic cash has declined by $1 billion since 2013, and he wants to retain "sufficient domestic liquidity" to help grow the business and fund future acquisitions.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) confirmed it made an offer to purchase AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) for $76.62 a share in cash and stock in January. After AstraZeneca rebuffed the offer, claiming Pfizer had severely undervalued the London-based company, Pfizer came back with a second bid this past Saturday. AstraZeneca rejected that, too. Shares of AstraZeneca were up 16.78% in pre-market trading, while Pfizer trailed behind, up 1.63%.

General Electric (NASDAQ:GE) CEO Jeff Immelt will meet with France's President Francois Hollande in Paris today to discuss the details of GE's proposed $13 billion acquisition of French engineering group Alstom's (EPA:ALO) power turbine business. Meanwhile, Siemens AG (NYSE:SI) offered to swap energy and train assets with Alstom in a bid to beat General Electric's proposal. Shares of GE rose 0.56% in pre-market trading. Siemens fell 1.87%.

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) have struck a deal where Comcast will divest 3.9 million cable subscribers following its previously announced merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC). Meanwhile, Charter will acquire 1.4 existing Time Warner Cable customers, making it the second-largest cable operator in the US. Ahead of the opening bell, Charter rose 1.53%.

The Economy

This week starts off with a light day of economic indicators. The pending home sales index will be released at 10:00 a.m.; it is a leading indicator for the state of existing home sales, not new home sales. At 10:30 a.m., the Dallas Fed will release its manufacturing outlook. Investors are looking ahead to a number of indicators expected throughout the week, including consumer confidence on Tuesday, GDP on Wednesday, and a speech by Janet Yellen on Thursday.

Global Markets

Stocks in Asia fell for a third day, and China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index (000001:SHA) posted its biggest decline in seven weeks. China's Securities Regulatory Commission will hold a meeting this week to review the initial public offering applications of four companies and possibly launch more IPOs by the end of May. Investors worry that new shares could drain liquidity in the market. Meanwhile, in Japan, retail sales grew at their fastest rate in 17 years prior to the April 1 tax hike. In South Korea, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigned over criticism of the government's handling of the Sewol ferry sinking on April 16.

In Europe, stocks advanced as merger and acquisition news drove shares of companies like AstraZeneca and Bayer AG (OTCMKTS:BAYRY) to rally. In London, the housing market recovery continued into April. After conflict continued to escalate in Ukraine over the weekend, President Obama announced new sanctions against Russia on Monday, the details of which will be released later today.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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