MARKET PULSE-Microsoft, Xerox, Intuitive Surgical, Qualcomm, GM

Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:39am EST

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.64 percent at 16,047, S&P 500 futures were down 0.69 percent at 1,811.7 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.67 percent at 3,589.5.

** MICROSOFT CORP, Thursday close $36.055, +3.23 pct premarket

The company posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, boosted by strong sales of its software and services for businesses, a solid holiday season for its new Xbox game console and Surface tablets, and a slightly lower tax bill.

** XEROX CORP, Thursday close $11.76, -1.96 pct premarket

The company, best known as a maker of printers and copiers, reported weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue.

** EBAY INC, Thursday close $54.94, -0.89 pct premarket

Activist investor Carl Icahn's stake in e-commerce company eBay is more than previously reported at close to 2 percent, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. EBay said this week that Icahn had taken a 0.82 percent interest in the company earlier this month and made a non-binding proposal for eBay to spin off its PayPal payments business.

** GENERAL MOTORS, Thursday close $38.42, -0.83 pct premarket

The company is seeking to cut shifts by half at one of its South Korean factories as it realigns global manufacturing in a move that could affect about 1,100 jobs, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

** STARBUCKS CORP, Thursday close $73.39, +0.69 pct premarket

The world's biggest coffee chain's quarterly sales at established restaurants in its U.S.-dominated Americas region cooled more than analysts expected as online shopping kept more consumers at home and reduced their visits to its coffee bars.

However, the company boosted its fiscal 2014 earnings per share forecast to a range of $2.59 to $2.67, from $2.55 to $2.65 previously.

** INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC, Thursday close $439, -6.61 pct premarket

The company said on Thursday that it expected to sell fewer of its high-priced da Vinci surgical robot systems in 2014 than last year and diverged from past practice by not providing a revenue forecast for the year.

** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, Thursday close $26.01, +5.73 pct premarket

Jana Partners LLC has taken a large stake in the network gear maker, a move that comes at a time when Juniper is being urged by one of its prominent investors to increase shareholder returns.

** HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC, Thursday close $89.8, -0.22 pct premarket

The diversified U.S. manufacturer posted a higher fourth-quarter profit after sales increased across its major segments. The company said net income rose to $947 million, or $1.19 per share, from $251 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.

** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO, Thursday close $53.95, +2.48 pct premarket

The drugmaker's quarterly sales and earnings beat Wall Street expectations, helped by cost cuts and growing sales of its treatments for cancer, blood clots and diabetes.

** BOEING, Thursday close $141.31, -0.22 pct premarket

The reliability of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is slowly improving but it is still not at a satisfactory level and the firm is working to improve the jet's performance, said Mike Fleming, Boeing's vice president for 787 support and services.

** PROCTER & GAMBLE CO, Thursday close $78.24, +0.01 pct premarket

The world's largest household products maker reported lower quarterly profit on Friday, hurt by unfavorable currency movements and lower gross profit margin.

** QUALCOMM INC, Thursday close $75.87, -0.74 pct premarket

** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Thursday close $29.37, -1.63 pct premarket

Chipmaker Qualcomm acquired a patent portfolio from Hewlett-Packard, including those of its iPaq smartphone, for an undisclosed amount. The portfolio comprises about 1,400 granted patents and pending patent applications from the United States and about 1,000 granted patents and pending patent applications from other countries.

** CONSOL ENERGY INC Thursday close $38

The company forecast first-quarter natural gas output at 47-48 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of gas, flat from 48.5 Bcfe it produced in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. It estimated first-quarter coal production at 7.2-7.6 million tons compared with 7.1 million tons produced in the fourth quarter.

** MCKESSON CORP, Thursday close $172.37, +3.24 pct premarket

The U.S. drugs distributor succeeded in its second attempt to win control of German peer Celesio in a deal with Celesio's two largest shareholders, German investment group Haniel and U.S. hedge fund Elliott.

** INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, Thursday close $17.65, -10.76 pct premarket

The slot-machine maker warned that its full-year profit would more likely be towards the lower end of its previous forecast due to continued weakness in the North American gaming market.

** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, Thursday close $9.31

** RENESOLA LTD, Thursday close $3.78

** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, Thursday close $6.38

** TRINA SOLAR LTD, Thursday close $15.1

U.S. trade officials opened investigations on Thursday into imports of certain solar power products from China and Taiwan, following a complaint at the end of last year by the U.S. unit of German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG.

The company at the time said it was seeking to close a loophole that enabled Chinese solar panel producers to evade U.S. import duties by using cells manufactured in other countries, mainly Taiwan.

** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Thursday close $150.49

A new U.S. Defense Department report warned that ongoing software, maintenance and reliability problems with Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter could delay the Marine Corps' plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015.

The company forecast on Thursday higher earnings in 2014 after charges linked to U.S. defense budget cuts and workforce reductions depressed earnings in the fourth quarter.

** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Thursday close $16.86, -0.95 pct premarket

The lender is looking to win more advisory and stock underwriting business to offset an expected slowdown in the issuance of corporate bonds, a top executive said in an interview on Thursday.

** APPLIED MICRO CIRCUITS CORP, Thursday close $11.35, -2.20 pct after market

The chipmaker reported third-quarter revenue slightly below estimates on Thursday, prompting brokerage BMO Capital Markets to lower its price target on the company's stock to $12 from $14.

** ALTERA CORP, Thursday close $32.93, +3.20 after market

The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by higher sales of its new programmable chips.

** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, Thursday close $21.04, +1.09 pct after market

One year after hiring a new chief executive to help it recover from a near brush with bankruptcy, the company said it earned $57.9 million in the fourth quarter, reversing a year-earlier loss, as clients revved up trading while costs for bad loans fell.

** DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES, Thursday close $52.4, +2.00 after market

The credit card issuer reported a better-than-expected 11 percent rise in quarterly profit as more consumers used cards to make payments.

** OPEN TEXT CORP, Thursday close $90.62, +5.30 pct after market

The Canadian business software maker's second-quarter results beat analysts' estimates, driven by higher license sales and customer service revenue.

** PROGENICS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Thursday close $6.73, -2.67 pct after market

The company filed a prospectus, called a shelf registration, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to raise up to $150 million through the potential sale of securities that could include stock, debt securities, or warrants.

** MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS INC, Thursday close $28.88, -5.00 pct after market

The chipmaker reported lower-than-expected second-quarter profit on Thursday as operating expenses rose 15 percent. The company also forecast current-quarter results largely below analysts' expectations.

** KKR & CO, Thursday close $25.77

** BLACKROCK INC, Thursday close $315.57

KKR & Co and BlackRock are among the investors in talks to buy a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd as the bad debt manager seeks to raise more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

** NOVARTIS, Thursday close $81.79, -0.71 pct premarket

The company still sees heart failure drug serelaxin as a potential blockbuster, even after backing down from original launch plans when the European health regulator dealt the drug a blow.

** AMGEN INC, Thursday close $123.6

A cholesterol fighter developed by Amgen from a highly promising new class of medicines significantly lowered levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol in a late stage trial in patients unable to tolerate statin drugs, the company said on Thursday.

** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Thursday close $170.75

The bank may stop traders from using certain chat messaging services to protect internal conversations that are lately being subjected to intense regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported.

** HESS CORP, Thursday close $77.4

The oil and gas producer said on Thursday that it would spend $5.8 billion on exploration and production this year, a 15 percent drop from 2013 as it focuses more on greater efficiency in its U.S. shale fields.

** SYNGENTA AG, Thursday close $77.81

Two leading U.S. grain groups have asked the world's largest crop chemicals company to suspend the commercial use in the United States of two genetically modified strains of corn not currently approved in China.

** RAYTHEON CO, Thursday close $91.1

The U.S. arms maker announced on Thursday that it received a $1.28 billion order from Oman for an advanced surface-to-air missile system. The company said the contract was awarded in the fourth quarter of 2013 and included ground support equipment, training support and technical assistance. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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