Gilead, American Airlines, Apple - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures rise; surprisingly good jobs data boosts optimism about the strength of the economic recovery; AstraZeneca approached Gilead about a potential tie-up.
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Here are five things you must know for Monday, June 8:

1. -- Stock Futures Keep Pushing Higher

Stock futures were rising Monday after surprisingly positive U.S. employment data boosted optimism about the strength of the economic recovery.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 185 points, futures for the S&P 500 gained 15 points and Nasdaq futures were up 8 points.

U.S. stocks closed sharply higher Friday after the U.S. added 2.5 million jobs to payrolls in May, an increase that caught investors and Wall Street economists off guard.

For the week, the Dow gained 6.8%, the S&P 500 jumped 4.9% and the Nasdaq rose 3.3%, finishing just points below its closing high on Feb. 19.

“Amid the recent wave of May data releases, however, one should nevertheless be cautioned against reading too much into any single month-on-month change, particularly during such times of uncertainty,” said Jingyi Pan of IG.

Crude oil prices slipped Monday after major oil producing nations extended a production cut of nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day through the end of July.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, fell 0.18% to $39.48 a barrel.

2. -- Federal Reserve Meets This Week

The economic calendar Monday is bare but this week a highlight will be the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve is expected to keep rates near zero and no major policy decisions are expected from the U.S. central bank. However, Fed-watchers will be curious to see whether May's employment data has changed the body's economic projections.

The calendar this week also includes data on consumer prices, producer prices, jobless claims and consumer sentiment.

Earnings are expected Monday from Stitch Fix  (SFIX) - Get Report, Coupa Software  (COUP) - Get Report and Casey's General Stores  (CASY) - Get Report.

Later in the week reports are expected from Chewy  (CHWY) - Get Report, Signet Jewelers  (SIG) - Get Report, AMC Entertainment  (AMC) - Get Report, GameStop  (GME) - Get Report, Adobe  (ADBE) - Get Report, Dave & Buster's Entertainment  (PLAY) - Get Report and Lululemon  (LULU) - Get Report.

3. -- Gilead Was Approached by AstraZeneca About Potential Merger

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences  (GILD) - Get Report - which has made headlines recently after getting the government's OK to use remdesivir as a potential coronavirus treatment - reportedly was targeted by AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Report for a possible merger deal.

The report from Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the talks, said the merger would have created the largest healthcare deal to date. The market capitalization of the merged companies would be about $232 billion.

No "formal" talks are ongoing and Gilead isn't interested in being acquired or merging, according to Bloomberg's sources.

Gilead makes remdesivir, the potential treatment for Covid-19. Analysts have estimated the drug could could be worth $2 billion in 2020 and more than triple that in 2021. 

Gilead shares were rising 4.72% to $80.37 in premarket trading.

AstraZeneca is working on a coronavirus vaccine.

4. -- American Airlines Details Severance Packages for High-Level Workers

American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report reportedly has detailed severance packages for high-level employees if they are laid off when the terms of federal aid expire in the fall, people familiar with the matter said.

The severance packages for upper management include around nine months of pay and a little more than two years of healthcare coverage for at least some of the employees at the director level and above, CNBC reported, citing one of the people.

American Airlines indicated last month it plans to cut its management and support staff by about 30% to slash costs as the coronavirus pandemic has severely curtailed air travel.

American is among several U.S. airlines that have accepted U.S. government payroll aid that bans job cuts until Sept. 30.

5. -- Apple to Launch Monthly Payment Plans for Apple Card

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report could soon allow customers to buy many of its products, including iPads, Macs and AirPods, over monthly installments via its Apple Card credit card, Bloomberg reported.

The tech is planning to roll out the service in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the plan. The offering will let customers buy a product through Apple and split up the cost over several months with interest-free payments, Bloomberg said.

The company will offer a 12-month interest-free payment plan for iPads, Macs, the Apple Pencil and iPad keyboards, as well as the Mac XDR Display monitor, and six months with no interest for AirPods, Apple TV, and HomePod, the people told Bloomberg.

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