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Pre-Market: Chinese Media Attacks Google, Apple for Spying; US Job Creation Index Reaches New High


Wal-Mart workers plan to strike nationwide today.

Stock futures pointed toward a higher open on Tuesday. Before the opening bell, Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.13% to 16,692. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) were down 0.18% to 1,918.60. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures moved lower, falling 0.22% to 3,722.50.


China's state-run media has accused technology companies including Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) for spying on China and stealing secrets for the US government, and has pushed Beijing to punish these companies. This is not the first time the Chinese state media has attacked US technology companies for abetting the US government in cyber espionage. The revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year, which revealed the NSA was seizing data from US tech firms, has led Chinese state-owned firms to move away from using the services of IBM (NYSE:IBM), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), and Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO). For Google, this will be the second problem with China this week -- is services were reportedly being disrupted ahead of the 25th anniversary of 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Google fell 0.36% in pre-market trading.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has set a target date for its initial public offering: August 8. The date 8/8 has significance, as the word for the number eight in Chinese, ba, is superstitiously associated with fortune. One source told Bloomberg that the company's management would like to use the ticker symbol "BABA." However, the potential trading date for the IPO, which is estimated at around $20 billion, could be pushed back to September, sources said.

US insurance company Protective Life (NYSE:PL) rose by as much as 18% in pre-market trading after news broke that Japan's Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company (OTCMKTS:DCNSF) is buying it for $5.71 billion. To fund the acquisition, Dai-Ichi will issue just under $250 billion in new shares. Dai-Ichi will purchase all shares of Protective Life at a price of $70 per share. Protective Life closed at $58.72 yesterday.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) workers are planning a nationwide strike in at least 20 cities across the United States today. Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart -- OUR Wal-Mart -- is leading the protests, which aim to convince Wal-Mart to push wages to at least $25,000 per year. The demonstrations are being held ahead of Wal-Mart's annual shareholders meeting on Friday. Shares of Wal-Mart rose 0.18% ahead of the opening bell.


The Gallup US Job Creation Index reached +27 in May, a new high within a six-year upward trend. The ADP jobs report showed the US private sector created 179,000 jobs in May, although it missed an estimate of 215,000. The United States' international trade deficit grew much more than expected in April, rising to $47.2 billion from $44.2 billion in March. Nonfarm productivity was lower thanks in part to adverse winter weather. Productivity fell to 1.7% after rising 2.3% in the previous quarter. The PMI services index will be released at 9:45 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., expect the ISM Non-Manufacturing index. The global composite PMI and the global services PMI are both reported at 11:00 a.m. The Fed's Beige Book is released at 2:00 p.m.

Global Markets

Asian stocks were mixed overnight after suffering initial weakness on lower US markets. The Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) rose to a two-month high, driven by steel makers and automakers, the latter driven by surging US auto sales numbers in May. In Australia, the economy grew 3.5% year-on-year in in the first quarter -- its fastest rise in two years. In Europe, stocks declined ahead of tomorrow's ECB policy decision. ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to remain committed to cutting interest rates. The euro-area services output numbers were reported, showing the strongest gain in nearly three years in May. Meanwhile, the G7 Summit met in Brussels today, the first time it has met without Russia in 17 years.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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