Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow, S&P 500 stand less than 1% from record closing highs

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures were relatively flat Monday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq rallied on Friday. The government's May employment report, while short of lofty expectations, was still solid and boosted confidence in the economic comeback. (CNBC)

All three major benchmarks were higher in the first trading week of June. The S&P 500 and the Dow finished less than 1% from their record closes in May. The Nasdaq saw the biggest Friday increase, with a nearly 1.5% advance. However, the tech-heavy index was still 2.3% shy of its late-April record close. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Jeff Bezos will fly on next month's first passenger flight of his space company Blue Origin. The Amazon billionaire and his brother Mark will join the winner of a public auction being held for one of the seats. Bidding on the auction stood at $2.8 million before the announcement. Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX are two of the biggest commercial space companies. (CNBC)

Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, tweeted Sunday that the electric auto maker has canceled the most expensive variant of its flagship sedan, the $150,000 Model S Plaid Plus. Musk said, "Plaid+ is canceled. No need, as Plaid is just so good." (CNBC)

Shares of AMC Entertainment were muted in Monday's premarket after in a wild week that saw the stock surge more than 80% despite declines Thursday and Friday. The movie theater chain last week sold additional shares in two tranches, raising some $817 million. CEO Adam Aron told YouTube host and AMC shareholder Trey Collins that the company wants to issue an additional 25 million shares. (CNBC)

The movie theater business, decimated by the Covid pandemic, showed more signs of getting back toward normal. "A Quiet Place Part II," after a stellar opening during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, fell 59% to $19.5 million this past weekend. "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" from Warner Bros. topped the weekend box office, debuting with a $24 million haul. (CNBC)

Apple (AAPL) is set to hold annual Worldwide Developers Conference today during one of the most fraught moments for developer relations in the company's history. While Apple emerged from the Epic v. Apple trial in a seemingly strong legal position, the tech giant's reputation took a hit. (The Verge)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google agreed to make changes to some of its online ad services and pay a nearly $267.5 million fine in a settlement with France's antitrust watchdog. The French Competition Authority said Monday Google had unfairly sent business to its own services, and discriminated against the competition. (CNBC)

* Tech companies made big pledges to fight racism last year. Here's how they're doing (CNBC)

The finance ministers of the most advanced economies, known as the Group of Seven, have backed a U.S. proposal that calls for corporations around the world to pay at least a 15% tax. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tweeted that a "global minimum tax would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the U.S. and around the world." (CNBC)

* Amazon, Google and Facebook will be hit hard by the G-7 tax deal. Here's how they responded (CNBC)

Yellen, former U.S. Federal Reserve chair, said in a Bloomberg interview that President Joe Biden's $4 trillion spending agenda would be positive for the country, even if it leads to a rise in interest rates. "If we ended up with a slightly higher interest rate environment, it would actually be a plus for society's point of view and the Fed's point of view," Yellen said. (CNBC)

Sen. Joe Manchin said he will vote against the sweeping federal election reform bill introduced by congressional Democrats. The decision by the moderate West Virginia Democrat essentially guarantees the legislation will fail. Manchin also reiterated he would not support eliminating the filibuster. (CNBC)

Biogen (BIIB) shares gained about 4% in the premarket ahead of an expected ruling by the FDA on the company's experimental Alzheimer's treatment aducanumab. It would be the first major drug approved for Alzheimer's in nearly two decades. However, some experts feel there's not enough evidence the treatment provides meaningful benefit. (Reuters)

The rate of vaccinations around the country has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, threatening President Joe Biden's goal of 70% of American adults with at least one dose by July 4. The CDC's vaccine tracker showed more than 63% of adults received at least one shot. (USA Today)

* Fauci's 2,000 emails per day show how little U.S. knew early in pandemic (CNBC)
* India cautiously starts to open up as virus cases decline (AP)
* Chinese city battles Covid variant first detected in India with lockdowns, mass testing (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

U.S. Concrete (USCR) agreed to be bought by construction materials maker Vulcan Materials (VMC) for $74 per share in cash, or about $1.29 billion. That's a nearly 30% premium over U.S. Concrete's Friday closing price of $57.14. U.S. Concrete shares soared 27.7% in premarket action.

G-III Apparel (GIII), an apparel maker, reported quarterly earnings of 53 cents per share, compared to a 15 cents a share estimate. Revenue also came in above forecasts. G-III issued an upbeat full-year outlook as well. Shares rallied 5.8% in premarket trading. G-III owned brands include Donna Karan.

Blackstone (BX), Carlyle Group (CG) and Hellman & Friedman agreed to buy medical supplies company Medline Industries for about $34 billion including debt, according to The Wall Street Journal. That would be the largest leveraged buyout deal since the 2008 financial crisis. Separately, the Journal reports that Blackstone will announce a deal to buy data center operator QTS Realty Trust (QTS) for $6.7 billion. QTS shares leaped 19.8% in the premarket.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE) received a delinquency notice from Nasdaq due to a late filing for its quarterly report. The electric vehicle company said it does intend to file its form 10-Q as soon as possible. Shares fell 1% in the premarket.

Microsoft (MSFT)won approval from U.S. antitrust regulators for its $16 billion deal to buy artificial intelligence company Nuance Communications (NUAN). Microsoft said reviews are still taking place in other jurisdictions, but that it expected to close the deal by the end of 2021.

KKR (KKR) will buy airport services company Atlantic Aviation from current owner Macquarie Infrastructure (MIC) for nearly $4.5 billion, seeking to benefit from growing demand for private jet services. KKR added 1.5% in premarket action. Macquarie jumped 12%.