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May 2 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:33 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, May 2:

-- U.S. stock futures were rising Friday ahead of the U.S. government nonfarm payrolls report for April.

Economists expected the U.S. to have added 215,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.6%.

European stocks were flat. Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2%.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for April at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and factory orders for March at 10 a.m.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday closed mixed as a raft of positive economic data lifted sentiment after weekly jobless claims rose. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled down 0.13% to 16,558.87, while the S&P 500 finished effectively flat at 1,883.68. The Nasdaq gained 0.31% to close at 4,127.45.

4. -- Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) sweetened its takeover offer for AstraZeneca (AZN - Get Report) on Friday and outlined measures it hopes will ease British government concerns over the deal.

Must Read: May 1 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

The Viagra maker said it is offering 50 pounds ($84) a share in cash and stock, a 7.3% on its previous bid. The offer values AstraZeneca at $106 billion.

AstraZeneca, which had shot down earlier takeover attempts, dismissed Pfizer's higher bid, saying it was "inadequate."

Pfizer, the U.S. drugmaker, sent a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, promising to keep the country's corporate and tax residence in England and saying the "golden triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London would represent a vital component" of the deal.

Pfizer shares rose 0.2% in premarket trading. AstraZeneca fell 0.2% to $80.92.

5. -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) reached an agreement to buy AltaLink, Canada's regulated electricity transmission company, from SNC-Lavalin Group for roughly $2.9 billion in cash.

Meanwhile, Berkshire and Buffett, CEO of the conglomerate, will conduct the annual shareholders' meeting in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday.

6. -- Chevron (CVX) is expected by Wall Street on Friday to report first-quarter earnings of $2.51 a share on revenue of $57 billion.

7. -- Professional social network LinkedIn (LNKD) issued guidance on Thursday short of analysts' estimates after it said it swung to a loss in the first quarter ended in March.

In its second quarter ending in June, the company said it expects revenue of between $500 million and $505 million, with adjusted EBITDA of $118 million to $120 million. Analysts expected revenue slightly higher at $505.1 million and EBITDA of $120.34 million.

Excluding one-time expenses, LinkedIn posted first-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share; analysts expected 34 cents.

LinkedIn fell 1.8% to $158.33 in premarket trading on Friday. 

 -- The Food and Drug Administration will ask a panel of advisers to vote on Friday on whether Singulair, Merck's (MRK) prescription respiratory pill, is safe enough to be approved for nonprescription use

First approved in 1997, Singulair  was Merck's best-selling drug with revenue of $4.76 billion in 2011. But sales have fallen since the company's patent expired mid-2012, exposing the brand generic competition.

9. -- Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) first-quarter profit more than tripled. The bank said Friday that net income rose to about 1.2 billion pounds ($2 billion) from 393 million pounds in the year-earlier quarter, a better than expected result. 

The stock rose 9% in premarket trading to $11.33.

10. -- Kraft Foods (KRFT) reported a higher profit for its first quarter as cost-cutting and one-time benefits helped offset a decline in revenue.

The maker of Lunchables, Oscar Mayer and Velveeta partly attributed the lower revenue to the timing of Easter-related shipments, which were pushed into the second quarter this year instead of the first quarter.

Kraft fell 0.7% to $56.27 in premarket trading. 

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

To contact the writer of this article, click here:Joseph Woelfel

To submit a news tip, send an email

Follow @josephwoe58


Copyright 2014 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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