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Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, April 15:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open Monday as the global markets and commodities declined on worrying news on the Chinese economy.

The world's second-largest economy grew 7.7% in the first quarter from the same time last year, down from 7.9% in the fourth quarter and missing the average economist estimate of 8%, according to a Reuters poll.


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


3. -- U.S. stocks on Friday finished with losses.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% on Friday but rose 2.3% for the week to 1,588.85.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed on the day at 14,865.06 while the Nasdaq shed 0.2% to close at 3,294.95.


4. -- Dish Network (DISH - Get Report) is proposing to merge with Sprint Nextel (S) in a $25.5 billion deal.

Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, had agreed to be acquired by Softbank Corp. of Japan.

Dish is offering to pay $7 a share for Sprint -- $4.76 in cash and about $2.24 in Dish stock.


5. -- Citigroup (C - Get Report) is forecast by Wall Street on Monday to post first-quarter earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $20.17 billion.

This will be the first full quarter under CEO Mike Corbat, who took over last fall when Vikram Pandit stepped down under pressure from the bank's board.

Last year, the bank posted earnings of $1.11 a share on revenue of $19.41 billion.


6. -- Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) is close to a deal to acquire Life Technologies (LIFE), according to reports.

The price could end up being as high as $13 billion, which would make it one of this year's largest corporate takeovers, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing a source familiar with the negotiations.


7. -- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) is working on designs for a touch-enabled watch device, executives at suppliers told the Journal, potentially joining rivals like Apple that are working on similar devices.


8. -- The Federal Aviation Administration ordered an inspection of more than 1,000 U.S.-registered Boeing (BA) 737s to examine the tail planes for a potentially faulty part, which the agency said could cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft if it failed, Reuters reported.


9. -- Auto rivals General Motors (GM - Get Report) and Ford (F) are working together to develop a new generation of fuel-efficient automatic transmissions.

The companies said Monday that their engineers will jointly design nine- and 10-speed transmissions that will go into many of their new cars and trucks.


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