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Ahead of Yellen and GDP data, US futures higher

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, as U.S. oil prices continued to retreat from the $50 per barrel level hit Thursday for the first time since October. But the Dow and S&P 500 were set to log their biggest weekly gains in March, after a mixed Thursday. (CNBC)

The government releases its second estimate on first quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting a 1.0 percent annual growth rate, double the initial reading. Investors also look to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech at 10:30 a.m. ET for more clues to the future for interest rates. (CNBC)

G-7 leaders warned today a British vote to leave the EU next month would seriously threaten the world economy, as they promised "more forceful" policies to boost global growth but papered over differences about fiscal stimulus. (FT)

Eight automakers said today they're recalling more than 12 million vehicles in new recalls related to defective Takata airbags. The latest recalls come after Japan's Takata earlier this month agreed to declare up to 40 million additional inflators defective. (Reuters)

Following Peter Thiel's explanation of why he's funded lawsuits against Gawker, the site's founder called out the Silicon Valley billionaire in an open letter and challenged him to a debate. Meanwhile, Gawker is exploring a possible sale. (NY Times)

Valeant (VRX) received a joint takeover bid from Japan's Takeda and private equity firm TPG Capital this spring. But the struggling Canadian drugmaker rejected it. The offer was made a few weeks before Valeant got a new CEO. (Reuters)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit won a court fight against Oracle (ORCL) over its use of Oracle's Java software. A jury ruled that Google's use of Java did not violate copyright law. Oracle said the company will appeal. (Reuters)

Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB) are teaming up to install a 4,000-mile undersea cable deal, the latest of a dozen high capacity transoceanic cables being built by tech companies to deal with their insatiable demand for bandwidth. (USA Today)

Sony (SNE) said sales of its PlayStation 4 videogame console have topped 40 million. Industry forecasts show PS4 sales widely outpaced Microsoft's Xbox One system, which was also unveiled in November 2013. (CNET)

Verizon (VZ) is said to be working with Bank of America (BAC) on its bid for Yahoo's (YHOO) core internet assets. BofA had been one of Yahoo's top advisers as recently as last year. Verizon appears to be most interested in Yahoo's advertising technology tools. (Reuters)

Researchers said a drug-resistant superbug that doctors have been dreading has surfaced in the U.S. for the first time. The bacteria has genetic changes that make it resistant to a last-ditch antibiotic called colistin. (NBC News)

Ken Starr, nemesis of the Clintons back in the 1990s, has been ousted as president of Baylor University, in the wake of a sex-assault scandal involving the football team that stunned and shamed the country's largest Baptist school. (NBC News)

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has outlined his energy policy plans, pledging to revive what he called a stifled U.S. energy industry. Meanwhile, Trump said he wants to debate Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders to raise money for charity. (CNBC)

President Barack Obama laid a wreath at the Hiroshima memorial today, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the devastating atomic bombing. While he did not apologize, Obama did pay tribute to "all the innocents" killed. (NBC News)

BY THE NUMBERS

In addition to the government's GDP figures, the University of Michigan is out with its final reading of May consumer sentiment at 10 a.m. ET. The index is seen coming in at 95.0 compared to the prior 95.8 level.

With the coming of the Memorial Day holiday, more vacationers are likely to head out of town to take advantage of cheap gas, falling airfares and strong employment. After vacations being stuck at home, there are bigger incentives to hit the road. (USA Today)


STOCKS TO WATCH

Ulta Salon (ULTA) reported quarterly profit of $1.45 per share, exceeding expectations by 16 cents. Revenue and same-store sales beat estimates. The beauty products seller also raised its full-year sales forecast.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK) beat estimates by 5 cents with adjusted quarterly profit of 11 cents per share, with revenue also above expectations. But the maker of UGG boots issued weaker than expected full-year guidance.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) reported adjusted quarterly profit of 42 cents per share, matching estimates, while revenue was above. But the maker of network security products warned on current quarter guidance.

GameStop (GME) came in 4 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly earnings of 66 cents per share, while revenue matched forecasts. The video game retailer warned on current quarter outlook.

Splunk (SPLK) matched estimates on earnings and beat on revenue. The analytics software maker raised its full-year outlook, but investors appear to be focusing on an overall net loss and an operating expenses increase.

WATERCOOLER

For the third year in a row, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended with two champions last night, after fighting to a draw during 39 rounds of competition. The spellers will take home $40,000 in cash and other prizes. (USA Today)

Justin Bieber and the co-writers of his 2015 hit "Sorry" are being sued for allegedly stealing a vocal riff from another artist who said she used it on her own song a year earlier. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. (Reuters)