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Bayer to buy Merck consumer unit; Credit Suisse near a plea deal; Is college worth the cost?

Hot Stock Minute

Bayer will buy Merck's (MRK) consumer care business for $14.2 billion. The deal will make Bayer the second-largest seller of over-the-counter products in the world, and the top-seller in North America. The purchase includes brands like Claritin, Affrin and Coppertone. Bayer and Merck will also collaborate on cardiovascular therapies.

Credit Suisse is in talks with U.S. federal prosecutors to work out a guilty plea and fine for allegedly helping wealthy Americans evade taxes. The fine could be as high as $1.6 billion according to Reuters. U.S. authorities reportedly are working with the Federal Reserve to ensure an admission of guilt wouldn't effectively put Credit Suisse out of business or affect the broader economy. A final agreement could come in the next few weeks.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its forecast for global economic growth this year, citing China's financial system and concerns about Ukraine, among other factors. The OECD, however, also said the global economy is in a "less perilous state than recent years" and policy makers can focus on "fostering recovery."

Office Depot (ODP) is one of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching today after it surged more than 10% in pre-market trading. The office supply retailer raised its earnings outlook for the year. The company also said it will close 150 U.S. stores by the end of this year and at least 400 U.S. stores by the end of 2016. Office Depot is reorganizing its operations after it merged with Office Max last year.

We're also watching shares of DirecTV (DTV) after the company beat earnings estimates before the bell. The satellite TV provider posted first quarter earnings of $1.63 a share. That blew past analysts' estimates of $1.50 a share. However, revenue came in at $7.86 billion, falling short of the $7.91 billion Wall Street was expecting. The company has been looking more appealing to investors recently on speculation that AT&T (T) is interested in buying the company.

And for all the questioning of the value of college, a San Francisco Fed study has found that the average U.S. college graduate will earn $800,000 more over their lifetime than the average high school graduate. That figure takes into account the tuition costs and the income not earned while attending four years of college. That leads to today’s poll question. Do you think college is worth the money? Vote in our poll and leave a comment below.