Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are higher this morning, helped by hopes for more stimulus measures in China and a broadly positive set of 1Q GDP data from Europe.
Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Matthew Ingram, who explains why Verizon will likely put The Huffington Post on the auction block shortly after it completes its $4.4 billion purchase of AOL to become the “world’s biggest media platform.”
1. Eurozone GDP outpaces U.S. in 1Q.
The Eurozone’s economy grew by 0.4% in the first quarter, according to a preliminary estimate by Eurostat. That’s the first time since 2011 that Europe’s currency union has outpaced the U.S., and owes much to the fact that low oil prices are a more unambiguous gain for energy-importing Europeans. All four of the region’s biggest economies–Germany, France, Italy and Spain, posted positive figures, while Greece fell back into recession, contracting by 0.2%.
2. DuPont shareholders vote on the company’s fate.
A four-month proxy battle between DuPont (DD) and activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund comes to a head today when shareholders vote on new board members at the company’s annual meeting. Trian is DuPont’s fifth-largest shareholder with a 2.7% stake and is aiming to get Peltz and three other nominees on the 12-member Board of Directors. Peltz paints DuPont as an underachiever in its industry and is trying to split DuPont’s volatile materials business from its more stable agriculture, nutrition and health, and industrial biosciences units. Fortune’s Stephen Gandel has the full story.
3. U.S. retail sales continuing to recover?
U.S. retail sales likely bounced back from the winter doldrums in April as pent up demand sent shoppers into stores. Analysts predict that the Commerce Department will report a 0.2% gain in retail sales. Without car sales, shopping likely ticked up an even higher 0.5%, analysts estimate. Official numbers will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
4. Macy’s reports earnings.
Macy’s (M) updates investors on its quarterly results before the opening bell today. Macy’s has been making big moves to boost its bottom line, including expanding its beauty business through its recent acquisition of Bluemercury and opening “off-price” locations like competitors Saks and Nordstrom (JWN). The first four pilot off-price stores will open in New York City this fall, the company said. Investors will be looking for more details. Analysts expect the department store to report sales of $6.3 billion and earnings-per-share of 62 cents.
J.C. Penney (JCP) also reports its quarterly earnings today after the market close.
5. Belgian biotech makes a splash.
Galapagos, a Belgian biotech company, will become the biggest biotech to debut so far this year when it opens on the NASDAQ exchange today. The company will raise as much as $250 million, with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and AbbVie (ABBV) accounting for $55 million of that sum. The company, which is valued at about $1.6 billion, already trades in Europe and its stock has gained over 130% year-to-date. The drug maker posted promising results from a mid-stage study of its rheumatoid arthritis drug in April.
—Reuters contributed to this story.