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P&G vitamin deal; Amazon's Prime number; Qualcomm's Chinese hurdle

1. Vitamin deal: Procter & Gamble announced Thursday it is buying the consumer health business of Ge...

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 11:01 AM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 11:01 AM

1. Vitamin deal: Procter & Gamble announced Thursday it is buying the consumer health business of German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA for about -3.4 billion ($4.2 billion).

P&G said the deal will help it expand its vitamin and health supplements business, giving it broader geographical reach and Merck brands such as Seven Seas and Nasivin. Shares in P&G nudged higher in extended trading.

The company will report its results before the market opens on Thursday. P&G also announced it will end its consumer care joint venture with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in July.

Merck shares were trading higher in Frankfurt on Thursday. UBS analysts said the price P&G agreed to pay for the business was "better than expected."

2. AT&T-Time Warner: The spotlight is turning to the chief executives in the antitrust trial that will determine the fate of AT&T's $85 billion bid to acquire Time Warner.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is expected to testify on Thursday. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes made the case for the proposed merger on Wednesday, arguing the deal is the only way for Time Warner to be able to compete with tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

AT&T announced its intention to acquire Time Warner, the owner of CNN and CNNMoney, in October 2016. But the Justice Department threw a wrench in those plans when it sued to block AT&T's bid in November.

3. Amazon Prime boom: Shares in Amazon jumped higher in premarket trading after its CEO Jeff Bezos revealed Wednesday the company now has more than 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers around the world.

4. Qualcomm's Chinese hurdle: China's Commerce Ministry warned Thursday that the antitrust remedies Qualcomm had proposed for its planned $44 billion purchase of rival chip maker NXP Semiconductors may not be enough to "solve the relevant market competition issues."

China is the last country where the deal still faces regulatory hurdles.

The announcement comes just two days after the United States banned ZTE, one of China's biggest tech companies, from buying components from American firms, including Qualcomm.

5. Global market overview: US stock futures were lower early on Thursday.

European markets opened mixed, following a positive trading session in Asia.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.2% on Thursday, while the S&P 500 closed 0.1% and the Nasdaq gained 0.2%.

US crude futures jumped 1% on Thursday, after soaring 3% Wednesday. A report on Wednesday showed US crude oil stockpiles fell more than expected. Oil was trading at $69.2 per barrel, the highest since late 2014.

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6. Earnings and economics: Blackstone Group, Bank of New York Mellon, Novartis, Philip Morris International and Procter & Gamble will report their earnings before the opening bell on Thursday.

US initial jobless claims report will be published at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Japanese inflation data will come at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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7. Coming this week:

Thursday - BNY Mellon earnings
Friday - State Street, Procter & Gamble, GE earnings

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 591376

Reported Deaths: 10753
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2142835112
Riverside43376824
Orange41823745
San Bernardino38290555
San Diego33157602
Kern25179183
Fresno17978191
Alameda14112209
San Joaquin13870235
Santa Clara12962207
Sacramento12274179
Tulare11643205
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Contra Costa10103149
Imperial9919252
Ventura874093
San Francisco783467
Santa Barbara707473
San Mateo6535122
Merced610274
Monterey562839
Marin547181
Kings506762
Solano433841
Sonoma382551
Madera259040
Placer237724
San Luis Obispo230017
Yolo189845
Santa Cruz13166
Butte12808
Napa114211
Sutter10197
El Dorado7852
San Benito7674
Lassen6830
Yuba6784
Mendocino47810
Shasta46910
Glenn4363
Colusa3975
Nevada3571
Tehama3041
Humboldt2934
Lake2532
Amador19510
Calaveras1611
Mono1601
Tuolumne1592
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Del Norte1040
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Plumas370
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