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French election ignites a global stock market rally

MARKETS RALLY

U.S. stock futures were sharply higher this morning, pulled along in a global rally, after centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron received the most support in Sunday's close first-round voting. (CNBC)

Far-right, anti-EU rival Marine Le Pen came in a close second. The run-off election is set on May 7. Le Pen and Macron, both outsiders, locked out France's two major parties for the first time in nearly 60 years. (CNBC)

The French stock market was soaring 4 percent. The euro spiked to a five-month high. Gold and bond prices were lower. Investors were encouraged that the centrist Macron emerged as the favorite. (CNBC)

Defeated far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon said he wasn't ready to endorse either Macron or Le Pen. But conservative Francois Fillon urged supporters to back Macron as did many other politicos in France. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Donald Trump is set to speak to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone this morning. Merkel said Sunday she's encouraged that the U.S. would take a look at a future trade agreement with the European Union. (Reuters)

Trump hosts members of the U.N. Security Council at the White House today, a highly unusual meeting made even more startling because of his harsh criticism of the U.N. during the campaign. (NBC News)

Trump held calls with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping overnight over North Korea. Xi said he hopes all sides exercise restraint in the face of provocations from Pyongyang. Meanwhile, North Korea said it's ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might. (Reuters)

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived unannounced in Afghanistan today to assess America's longest war as the Trump administration weighs sending more troops there. (AP)

Congress returns from a two-week break facing a deadline to keep the government operating while Trump presses harder for legislative action on replacing Obamacare and funding his border wall. (NBC News)

Nearly two-thirds of Americans give Trump poor or middling marks as he marks 100 days in office this Saturday. That's according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Barack Obama is set to hold his first public event since he left the White House, speaking today at the University of Chicago, the planned site of his presidential library. (AP)

Bill O'Reilly, former Fox News host, is set to appear today with a new episode of his "No Spin News" podcast. O'Reilly was ousted at Fox last week following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. (USA Today)

C.R. Bard (BCR) agreed to be bought by rival medical supplies maker Becton Dickinson (BDX) for $24 billion in cash and stock. The deal values C.R. Bard at a 25 percent premium over Friday's close. (Reuters)

United (UAL) said CEO Oscar Munoz won't become chairman next year, as originally scheduled, following the widespread controversy over the forced removal of a passenger from a United flight. (NY Times)

An attorney for passenger Dr. David Dao joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" to talk about his client's recovery and expected lawsuit against the airline.

American Airlines suspended a flight attendant after he allegedly hit a female passenger with a stroller. Video of the argument on a Friday flight from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth went viral over the weekend. (NY Times)

Uber, stung by recent controversies, tracked iPhone users after they deleted the app, underscoring CEO Travis Kalanick's bent for risk taking in building the rail-hailing juggernaut. (NY Times)

Alibaba's (BABA) Jack Ma said today that CEOs could be robots in 30 years, and warned of decades of "pain" from the disruption caused by the internet and artificial intelligence. (CNBC)

Billionaire Elon Musk said the motivation behind Neuralink, the company he founded to link the human brain with a machine interface, is aimed at stopping a rogue "Terminator"-style AI scenario. (CNBC)

BY THE NUMBERS

If the gains of 1 percent on U.S. futures hold up, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq would go positive for April at the open. Wall Street finished last week on a down note but overall broke a two-week losing streak.

There are no major government economic reports out today in what promises to be an otherwise busy week. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks at two events today ahead of next week's May policy meeting.

The latest NABE survey is among the first to show at least some businesses have taken real actions in response to the election of President Trump. The survey shows 40 percent of companies in the goods-producing industry have either hired more workers, accelerated investment, or redirected both back to the U.S.

The busiest week of earnings season is also ahead, though it gets off to a relatively slow start today, featuring Halliburton (HAL) and Hasbro (HAS) this morning and Alcoa (AA) T-Mobile US (TMUS) this afternoon.

STOCKS TO WATCH

PPG Industries (PPG) raised its offer for Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel, after being rejected twice. The latest $28.8 billion offer is 17 percent higher than the original proposal.

High-end British shoe retailer Jimmy Choo is seeking buyout offers for the company. The stock was soaring in London today. Majority shareholder JAB is moving away from luxury to coffee.

Hotel REIT FelCor Lodging Trust (FCH) will be merged into a wholly-owned subsidiary of RLJ Lodging Trust (RLJ) in what will result in a $7 billion combination.

Sears Holdings (SHLD) is evaluating bids for some of its real estate assets, and the retailer also said it expects to report a first quarter profit.

Netflix (NFLX) announced it intended to offer a nearly $1.3 billion debt offering outside the United States to non-US investors.

O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) got a positive mention in Barron's, which said the auto parts retailer's stock could rise by 75 percent over the next three years.

WATERCOOLER

The eighth installment in "The Fast and the Furious" franchise topped the North American box office again. The "Fate of the Furious" is expected to top $1 billion worldwide this week. (AP)

In a nod to its German heritage, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is collaborating with a venerable German brewer to create an anniversary lager to celebrate 150 years of bear-making. (CNBC)