Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, April 21:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Monday while Asian markets ended the trading session mixed.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.03% to 14,512.38 after Japan's trade deficit widened by nearly 70% in the year ended March 31.
Stocks markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt were closed for the Easter holiday.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes leading indicators for March at 10 a.m. EDT.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday (markets in the U.S. were closed Friday) closed mixed amid corporate earnings as investors hedged their bets ahead of a long holiday weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to close at 16,408.54, while the S&P 500 rose 0.14% to 1,864.85. The Nasdaq increased 0.23% to 4,095.52.
4. -- Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) held informal, now-discontinued talks with AstraZeneca (AZN) about possibly buying the London-based drugmaker, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.The companies aren't currently negotiating, the people told Bloomberg. One said the discussions happened several months ago and there are no plans to resume.
London's Sunday Times reported that Pfizer made a tentative approach about a takeover valuing AstraZeneca at more than 60 billion pounds ($101 billion). 5. -- Kraft Foods (KRFT - Get Report) recalled 96,000 pounds of its Oscar Mayer hot doges because they may mistakenly contain cheese. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Sunday that Kraft's "Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners" may instead contain the company's "Classic Cheese Dogs." The agency said the product labels are incorrect and don't reflect the ingredients associated with the pasteurized cheese in the cheese dogs. Those products were made with milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the label. The USDA said the problem was discovered by a consumer who notified Kraft on Friday. The company alerted the USDA the following day, according to the statement. 6. -- Video streaming service Netflix (NFLX) is forecast to report on Monday first-quarter earnings of 83 cents a share on revenue of $1.27 billion.
7. -- General Motors (GM) and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million. GM and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017. 8. -- Talks to merge the world's largest gold mining companies, Barrick Gold (ABX) and Newmont Mining (NEM), broke down April 18 amid minor disagreements that leave open the possibility that a deal could be revived, two people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
The companies had agreed to an all-stock merger and planned to announce the deal this week, the people told Bloomberg, Barrick was to offer Newmont shareholders a premium of 13% more than Newmont's average share price over the latest 20 trading days, one of the people said. 9. -- Representatives of mobile-payments startup Square have discussed a possible sale to several deeper-pocketed rivals, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Google (GOOG) discussed a possible acquisition of Square earlier this year, three people familiar with the matter told the Journal. Those talks followed a meeting in 2012 between top Google and Square executives to discuss a possible takeover. It's not clear whether the talks are continuing.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have held talks with Charter about a deal involving between 3 million and 5 million subscribers during recent days, according to people familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel