The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has lost an insignificant five points in pre-market trading, suggesting a flat start to the stock market today. There isn't much on the economic calendar today that could steal the spotlight from tomorrow morning's jobs report: Economists are looking for the highly anticipated update to show 200,000 jobs added in April, roughly the same as March's numbers. The unemployment rate is also expected to hold steady at 6.7% when the new figures are published at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
Meanwhile, stocks on the move this morning include DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), which could be the target of a massive acquisition, and MasterCard (NYSE:MA), which posted quarterly earnings results before the opening bell.
DIRECTV shares were up 5.8% in pre-market trading after The Wall Street Journal reported that the satellite TV provider is a target for a potential purchase by AT&T (NYSE:T). Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal pegged the deal's value at about $40 billion, but it would likely be higher as that price involves no premium over DIRECTV's current market capitalization. Combined, the two giants would serve 26 million subscribers, in the same neighborhood as Comcast's user base assuming its pending deal to buy Time Warner Cable goes through. And like that merger, a tie-up between AT&T and DIRECTV might have trouble getting regulatory approval given how dominant the new company could be. Still, the fact that the nation's second-largest pay TV operator is talking with one of the world's biggest telecom companies about linking up shows just how much of a game changer Comcast's deal has been for the industry.
MasterCard today posted a 14% jump in both earnings and revenue for its first quarter. The payment processing company's sales grew to $2.2 billion, slightly ahead of the $2.1 billion that analysts were expecting. Profit of $0.73 a share also outpaced expectations. MasterCard's results were driven by a 14% increase in gross dollar volume, which hit a cool $1 trillion in the quarter. In a press release accompanying the results, CEO Ajay Banga highlighted new branding deals with major retailers including Wal-Mart and Target that should keep revenue growing at a healthy pace from here. The stock was up 2.2% in pre-market trading.
Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends DirecTV and MasterCard. The Motley Fool owns shares of MasterCard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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