June 16 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Here are 10 things you should know for Monday, June 16:

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing lower on Monday amid escalating violence in Iraq and ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this week.

European stocks continued to slide on Monday and Asian indices closed mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index declined 1.1%. 

2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Monday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Index for June at 8:30 a.m. EDT, industrial production and capacity utilization for May at 9:15 a.m., and the NAHB Housing Market Index for June at 10 a.m. 

3. -- U.S. stocks on Friday rose as the escalating situation in Iraq hung heavy in investors' minds and so-so U.S. economic data kept Wall Street cautious.

The S&P 500 gained 0.31% to close at 1,936.16, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.25% to 16,775.74, and the Nasdaq added 0.3% to 4,310.65.

The three indices, however, finished the week lower, the first weekly decline in three weeks.

4. -- Medtronic (MDT), the U.S. medical device manufacturer, agreed to buy Ireland-based competitor Covidien (COV) for $42.9 billion in cash and stock.

The combined company will have its executive offices in Dublin, where it could benefit from Ireland's lower corporate tax rates. But the merged company would continue to operate in Minneapolis, where Medtronic employs more than 8,000, the companies said in a statement late Sunday.

Medtronic is paying a 29% premium on Covidien's stock price as of Friday.

Medtronic makes pacemakers and insulin pumps, among other products. Covidien specializes in surgical equipment.

As a result of savings from the deal, Medtronic said it would spend an additional $10 billion over the next decade in investments, acquisitions and research and development in the United States.

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5. -- Germany's Siemens  (SI) and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi were preparing a joint offer for Alstom's energy business in a challenge to General Electric (GE), according to a report Sunday.

Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy announced their partnership Wednesday, promising to submit a bid to Alstom's board by Monday, but they offered no details of how the partnership would work or what their offer would look like. Later in the week, Japan's Hitachi said it would work with Mitsubishi Heavy on a possible bid.

The three are preparing an offer that will give Siemens Alstom's gas turbines and allow Mitsubishi and Hitachi to expand their steam turbine and hydro business operations, Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

6. -- Williams Cos. (WMB), the pipeline operator, reached an agreement to acquire control of Access Midstream Partners (ACMP) for $5.99 billion.

The deal gives Williams, the fourth-largest U.S. pipeline company based on market capitalization, control over the industry's largest gathering and processing master limited partnership as measured by throughput volume, according to Reuters.

A subsequent merger of Williams' MLP, Williams Partners LP (WPZ), with Access, will, if successful, create one of the largest MLPs by enterprise value -- close to $100 billion, Reuters said.

7. -- Talks between the Justice Department and Citigroup  (C) to settle a civil investigation into its sale of shoddy mortgage investments have deteriorated in recent days, as the sides are deadlocked on how much money the bank should pay, The New York Times reported.

The Justice Department has told Citigroup's lawyers that it plans to sue the bank unless the sides can reach an agreement soon, people briefed on the matter told the Times. That lawsuit could come as soon as this week, one of the people said.

Similar tensions derailed negotiations between the Justice Department and Bank of America  (BAC) last week, increasing the likelihood that federal prosecutors will file a lawsuit in that case as well, according to the newspaper. 

8. -- GTECH, which operates Italy's state lottery, said it's holding discussions about a purchase of International Game Technology (IGT), the world's largest maker of slot machines.

GTECH, in a statement. said it has hired advisers to help negotiate a deal but didn't provide a value for any bid,

9. -- Airbus and French engineering company Safran agreed to merge their rocket launcher businesses into a new joint venture aimed at helping the European space sector stay globally competitive.

10. -- The San Antonio Spurs won their fifth NBA title, beating the Miami Heat 104-87 in Game 5 on Sunday night.

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-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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

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