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Pre-Market Primer: Apple Fights E-Book Price-Fixing Case; Global Manufacturing Beats


US manufacturing data is on deck today.

After US stocks declined for two straight weeks for the first time since November 2012, index futures are trading higher this morning as global manufacturing data came in better than expected.

Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.59% at 15,189. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.52% to 1,637.50 and future contracts on the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) index climbed 0.45% to 2,993.75.

Later this morning, a few reports on the manufacturing sector are due out. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing purchasing managers' index is expected to read 51 for May, up 0.3 points from April. Markit's separate reading is likely to stay flat at 52.1. Readings over 50 indicate that the sector grew over the month. Economists predict that construction spending rose 1% in April after falling 1.7% in March.

European Union manufacturing PMI showed that the goods-producing sector declined in most countries in May, but by a narrower margin than expected. The region as a whole averaged 48.3, beating estimates of 47.8, but still falling short of the growth threshold of 50. All of the member states reported multi-month highs, but still registered contractions. Spain hit a two-year high of 48.1 and Greece rose to a 23-month high of 45.3. Germany's and France's readings were 49.4 and 46.4, respectively. UK manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in 14 months as PMI rose to 51.3. European shares climbed on the better-than-expected data.

HSBC's China manufacturing index showed a slowdown. The index showed that the sector contracted to 49.2 from 50.4 in April. The government's own survey, which is more weighted toward large and state-owned enterprises, read 50.8, a slight improvement over April.

Japanese stocks are still highly volatile. The Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:.NI225) fell 3.7% today, the fourth major decline in just eight trading sessions. Since the heavy losses began in the wake of the Federal Reserve's warning that it might scale back quantitative easing, the stock index is down 17% and futures continue to slide.

South Korean exports, a bellwether for the global economy, unexpectedly rose 3.2%.

In companies news, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will face the Justice Department in court today. Prosecutors accuse the company of colluding with five publishers, all of whom have settled rather than fight the charges, of raising e-book prices by allowing publishers to set the prices.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV) fell 2.49% this morning after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shares are up 1.9% after introducing the new Haswell chips, which are faster, but use less battery power. Intel has previously struggled to produce a processor suitable for mobile devices. On Friday, it was reported that Samsung (KRX:05930) will use Intel Clover Trail processors in its next Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) tablet. Samsung will announce a new product line on June 20.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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