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Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, June 17:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing higher as investors prepare for a trading week dominated by the Federal Reserve and its plans for the central bank's stimulus program.

Global stocks were rising Monday. European shares gained, while Asian stocks finished the trading session to the upside. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.7% to close at 13,033.12.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for June at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the NAHB Housing Market Index for June at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Friday fell after tepid industrial output and consumer sentiment reports dampened investor sentiment ahead of this week's Federal Reserve policy statement.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6% to close at 1,626.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.7% to 15,070.18 while the Nasdaq lost 0.63% to 3,423.56.

4. -- The Fed ends its two-day policy on Wednesday, and many investors will be focused on what Chairman Ben Bernanke might say at his afternoon news conference about the scaling back of the central bank's effort to keep long-term rates at record lows.

Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America, said last week the Fed really would only begin to taper after strong, sustained evidence that the economy is on solid ground. But even then, the Fed wouldn't suddenly go from $85 billion of monthly bond purchases to zero.

"The Fed will make it [tapering] as smooth as possible," Harris said. "There's no rush here."

5. -- Activist investment fund Starboard Value is pressuring Smithfield Foods (SFD) to explore a breakup rather than follow through with its planned $4.7 billion takeover by Chinese meat producer Shuanghui International, according to a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Starboard, in a letter to the Smithfield board that is expected to be delivered by Monday, said it has taken a 5.7% stake in pork processor Smithfield and urges it to consider splitting up. Starboard's stake makes the fund one of Smithfield's larger investors.

6. -- Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser (WY - Get Report) named Doyle Simon as its new CEO, and said it agreed to buy Longview Timber LLC for $2.65 billion from Brookfield Asset Management (BAM).

Weyerhaeuser also said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its real estate company that could include a merger, a sale or spinoff of the business.

7. -- Telefonica (TEF - Get Report), Spain's biggest phone company, denied receiving any indication of interest from AT&T (T - Get Report) following a report in a Spanish newspaper that the government halted a €70 billion ($93 billion) offer from AT&T.

" Telefonica has not received any approach or spoken or written indication of interest," a spokesman for Telefonica told Reuters.

8. -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) said it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data related to national security matters between Dec. 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

Apple said on its Web site that "between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices were specified in those requests, which came from federal, state and local authorities and included both criminal investigations and national security matters."

"Regardless of the circumstances, our Legal team conducts an evaluation of each request and, only if appropriate, we retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities. In fact, from time to time when we see inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a request, we will refuse to fulfill it," the tech giant said.
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