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May 9 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:50 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, May 9:

1. 
-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a weaker start for Wall Street on Friday and European stocks slipped amid an easing of inflation in China and renewed concerns over the crisis in Ukraine.

Asian shares ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.3%.

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes wholesale inventories for March at 10 a.m. EDT.

3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday closed mixed as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated her positive economic outlook and as tech stocks tumbled again.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to finish at 16,550.97, while the S&P 500 lost 0.14% to 1,875.63. The Nasdaq dropped 0.4% to close at 4,051.50.

4. -- Apple (AAPL) could make its largest acquisition with the planned $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming operator founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop star Dr Dre, The Financial Times reported.

The deal could be announced as early as next week, people familiar with the negotiations told the newspaper. But they cautioned that some details had yet to be agreed and talks could still fall apart.

Apple will acquire Beats' streaming music service, which launched earlier this year, and its audio equipment business, which includes its brand of headphones and audio equipment. The Beats management team will report to Apple CEO Tim Cook, people familiar with the deal told the FT. Apple and Beats declined to comment.

Apple shares fell 0.4% in premarket trading on Friday to $585.80.

5. -- Omnicom (OMC) and France's Publicis scrapped merger plans that would have created the world's largest advertising firm.

The companies issued a joint statement late Thursday saying they mutually agreed to call off the $35 billion deal announced in July because they weren't able to complete the merger in a reasonable time frame.

They didn't give details, but The Wall Street Journal reported that issues included getting tax and regulatory approvals, and debates over which company would be listed as the acquirer of the other.

Omnicom shares fell 1.1% to $65.48 in premarket trading. 

6. -- Publisher News Corp (NWSA) said fiscal third-quarter earnings declined from a year earlier, but adjusted profit of 11 cents a share topped Wall Street estimates because of better book publishing thanks to strong sales of the "Divergent" series, which was launched as a movie in March.

Revenue fell 5% to $2.08 billion, but topped analysts' forecasts of $2.07 billion.

7. -- Pfizer (PFE) would cut its yearly tax bill by hundreds of millions of dollars if it buys rival AstraZeneca  (AZN) but thousands of Pfizer shareholders face a tax hit if a deal goes through, the Journal reported.

The hit stems from a little-known provision of U.S. tax rules that is triggered when a U.S. company buys a firm overseas and relocates there to reduce its taxes. Pfizer, as part of its $106 billion bid to buy AstraZeneca, said the combined company's residence would be in the U.K.

Shares of Pfizer rose 0.3% in premarket trading; AstraZeneca shares fell 0.9%.

8. -- CBS (CBS) said first-quarter earnings rose 6% as higher licensing fees from the company's Showtime network helped overcome an advertising downturn caused by less sports programming.

Revenue fell 5% from a year earlier to $3.86 billion; analysts were expecting $3.92 billion.

9. -- McDonald's  (MCD) confirmed to USA Today on Thursday that it will begin testing seasoned fries -- dubbed Shakin' Flavor Fries -- on Friday in the Northern California and St. Louis markets.

The seasonings are Garlic Parmesan, Zesty Ranch and Spicy Buffalo. But the fries don't come pre-seasoned. Instead, they come with special packets of seasoning that consumers are advised to open, pour and shake into a specially made mixing bag. Imprinted on the bags: "Seasoned fries. Shake your taste buds."

10. -- The Houston Texans selected South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick in the first round of the draft.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

To submit a news tip, send an email to:tips@thestreet.com.

Follow @josephwoe58

 

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

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