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Stocks set to wrap another positive month

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures are little changed ahead of the Tuesday open, but Wall Street's major averages are poised to continue their monthly winning streaks on the final trading day of May. The Dow is poised to post its fourth straight monthly advance, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq appear set to chalk up a third straight month of gains. (CNBC)

European stocks are also on pace for their best monthly performance since October as the weak euro supported exporters. (Reuters)

China's Shanghai Composite rose more than 3 percent on Tuesday, while Japan's Nikkei put up a fifth straight day of gains.(CNBC/Reuters)

Oil prices got some support on Tuesday from the start of the summer driving season, but reports that Iraq will provide partners with 5 million additional barrels in June underscored growing competition for market share among Middle East producers. (Reuters)

Iraqi forces have encountered fierce resistance from Islamic State militants in their effort to take back Fallujah. Meanwhile, 20 were killed in Baghdad on Monday in the latest bombing claimed by the Islamic State. (Reuters)

An attempt by North Korea to launch a ballistic missile on Tuesday appears to have failed, according to South Korean officials. The incident marks another unsuccessful test launch and follows Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January. (Reuters)

Nearly 46 million people are living in slavery, according to Australia-based humans rights group Walk Free Foundation. India has the largest enslaved population, though the highest prevalence is in North Korea. (Reuters)

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton canceled two campaign events in New Jersey in order to spend more time in California, where Sen. Bernie Sanders is mounting a vigorous challenge. (Washington Post)

Animal rights activists jumped barricades at a Bernie Sanders rally in Oakland and tried to rush the podium. Security personnel stopped the protesters before they could reach Sanders. (AP)

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will hold a press conference on Tuesday in which he is expected to offer details about donations to veterans organizations amid questions about the charitable giving. (Washington Post)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching an initiative to keep the Senate under GOP control. The campaign will deploy influential Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush to raise money in battleground states. (WSJ)

Viacom's (VIAB) six independent directors will fight any attempt to remove them from the company's board, lead independent director Fred Salerno told shareholders on Monday. Salerno issued the warning after Viacom controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone said he would consider replacing the board. (Reuters)

Nearly 40,000 striking Verizon (VZ) workers will return to work this week after a union representing the employees reached a pact with the telecom giant that would give pay raises of more than 10 percent and includes about 1,300 new call center jobs. (AP)

BY THE NUMBERS

The shortened trading week begins with several key economic reports, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET with April personal income and spending numbers. Consensus forecasts call for a 0.4 percent rise in income after a similar gain in March, while spending is seen jumping 0.7 percent after a 0.1-percent April increase.

At 9 a.m. ET, the March Case-Shiller report should show a 5.4 percent year-over-year rise in home prices, according to forecasts, identical to the February gain.

At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index will dip to 49.8 for May, if economists are correct, down from 50.4 for April.

At 10 a.m. ET, the Conference Board's May Consumer Confidence Index is expected to rise to 96.0 from April's 94.2.

A light earnings calendar sees Medtronic (MDT) issuing quarterly numbers this morning, while TiVo (TIVO) and Workday (WDAY) are out after the closing bell.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Apple (AAPL) may extend its iPhone model update schedule to every three years, according to an article in Japan's Nikkei newspaper.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) surprised analysts by reporting an increase in first quarter profit. The automaker earned $3.8 billion for the quarter, up slightly from a year earlier. Consensus forecasts had called for a 17-percent drop in the wake of the company's diesel emissions scandal.

Oracle (ORCL) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) head to court today in a dispute over Oracle's alleged role in the decline of Hewlett-Packard's hardware business prior to the spinoff of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.

Celator Pharmaceuticals (CPXX) will be bought by Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) for $30.25 per share in cash, or about $1.5 billion. That represents a nearly 73-percent premium over Friday's close for Celator shareholders.

Monsanto (MON) may get an improved buyout bid from Germany's Bayer as soon as this week, according to the Sunday Times. Monsanto rejected Bayer's $122 per share offer last week.

WATERCOOLER

Twentieth Century Fox's "X-Men Apocalypse" earned $80 million over the long weekend to top the U.S. box office. Disney's "Alice Through The Looking Glass" came in second with a disappointing $34.2 million. (USA Today)

The Golden State Warriors advanced to the NBA finals, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 96 to 88 in the Western Conference finals. They'll play the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last year's championship game. (NY Times)