(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 Wednesday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.10 percent at 15,322, S&P 500 futures were down 0.39 percent at 1,736.9 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.39 percent at 3,438.5.
** RALPH LAUREN CORP, Tuesday close $154.18, +4.42 pct premarket
The designer clothing company reported a 10 percent rise in third-quarter profit, helped by higher sales at its own stores.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Tuesday close $36.35, -0.22 pct premarket
The world’s largest software maker is betting a mix of old and young blood will revive the aging technology pioneer, but new Chief Executive Satya Nadella may find it tough to push change with co-founder Bill Gates and former CEO Steve Ballmer breathing down his neck.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $508.79, -0.64 pct premarket
The world’s most valuable technology company has been sued by the patent and licensing organization of the University of Wisconsin for infringing on a processor design patented by the university back in 1998, according to a report by ANI News.
The plaintiff has claimed that the processing system is used in iPhone 5S, iPad mini with Retina Display, and iPad Air design, the report said. (link.reuters.com/xug66v)
Separately, the company urged a federal appeals court on Tuesday to put a court-appointed antitrust monitor on hold, arguing that his efforts were harming the company’s business.
** GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $1,138.16, +0.46 pct premarket
The internet search giant has offered further concessions to address regulatory concerns about its search results, the European Commission said on Wednesday, taking the company a step closer to settling a three-year investigation and prevent a fine of up to $5 billion.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $122.04, -0.85 pct premarket
The company said on Tuesday that it saw no bubble in the market for 737 jetliners and that production could rise to as many as 60 aircraft a month at the current factory in Renton, Washington, though production might not go that high.
** TIME WARNER INC, Tuesday close $62.4, +0.72 pct premarket
The company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by the success of the space thriller movie “Gravity” released by its Warner Bros movie studio.
** LAZARD LTD, Tuesday close $42.99, +2.81 pct premarket
The investment bank and asset manager reported a better-than-expected 35 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit as merger advisory revenue rose in a recovering M&A market.
** RADIAN GROUP INC, Tuesday close $14.33, +4.54 pct premarket
The biggest U.S. private mortgage insurer reported a quarterly profit after four straight losses as fewer homeowners defaulted on their loans in a recovering housing market. Mortgage insurers have been writing more profitable insurance policies as fewer people default on home loans, largely helped by a recovery in the U.S. housing market.
** MERCK & CO INC, Tuesday close $53.51, +1.29 pct premarket
The second-biggest U.S. drugmaker reported quarterly sales that were slightly lower than expected, hurt by competition from cheaper generic medicines, and predicted full-year earnings at the lower end of analysts’ expectations.
Separately, Merck said it planned to test its closely followed immuno-oncology drug MK-3475 in combination with medicines being developed by rival drugmakers Pfizer Inc , Amgen Inc, Incyte Corp.
** NASDAQ OMX GROUP INC, Tuesday close $37.79
The transatlantic exchange operator reported a higher fourth-quarter profit, helped by increased revenue from recent acquisitions.
** MARINE HARVEST, Tuesday close $11.8
The world’s biggest fish farmer plans to boost output this year to meet rising demand for salmon from health-conscious consumers and generate cash to fund acquisitions and increase payouts to shareholders. The company, which controls more than a fifth of the global farmed fish trade, said it wanted to increase its market share as customers from Asia to America seek what they perceive to be a healthier, high-protein alternative to meat.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE, Tuesday close $50.9, +1.59 pct premarket
Britain’s biggest drugmaker flagged a pick-up in growth this year as productivity in its drug research labs improves and pressure on sales in China moderates following a damaging bribery scandal in the country.
** OMEROS CORP, Tuesday close $11.25, +11.64 pct premarket
The drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had granted fast-track status to the company’s experimental treatment for cognitive impairment in patients with Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder that affects the brain.
Fast-track status helps expedite the review of drugs to treat serious diseases and fill unmet medical needs. Drugs that are eligible for the designation are likely to receive a priority review.
** W.R. GRACE & CO, Tuesday close $96.02
The chemicals maker reported a better-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, helped by strength at its materials technologies business that makes packaging technologies and engineered materials for consumer, industrial, coatings and pharmaceutical applications.
The company also said it expected a rise of 13-20 percent in 2014 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, and forecast full-year sales largely in line with the average analyst estimate.
** COGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS CORP, Tuesday close $97.01, -4.89 pct premarket
The IT services provider forecast a slower-than-expected revenue growth for the current fiscal, after reporting a fourth-quarter results that matched market estimates.
** HUMANA INC, Tuesday close $97.47
The U.S. health insurer said it had received 202,000 applications through Jan. 31 for 2014 Obamacare health insurance plans in the 14 states where it offers them.
Humana made the disclosure as it reported a fourth-quarter loss due to a $243 million charge to set aside financial reserves for a group of long-term care policies that it no longer sells.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Tuesday close $16.35, -0.49 pct premarket
A new judge presiding over the bank’s proposed $8.5 billion settlement with investors in soured mortgage securities on Tuesday postponed entering a final judgment in the case, raising the possibility of additional legal maneuvers.
** MORGAN STANLEY, Tuesday close $29.02, -1.10 pct premarket
The bank said it would pay $1.25 billion to the U.S. regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to settle a lawsuit related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The Wall Street bank will add $150 million to its legal reserves as a result of the settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $54.95, -0.69 pct premarket
The bank settled the latest in a string of legal claims on Tuesday when it agreed to pay $614 million to the U.S. government and admitted that it defrauded federal agencies by underwriting sub-standard mortgage loans.
Separately, the Wall Street bank has entered into exclusive talks with trading house Mercuria to sell its physical commodities division, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
** CVS CAREMARK CORP, Tuesday close $66.11, -1.00 pct premarket
The No. 2 U.S. drugstore chain said it would stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October, becoming the first U.S. drugstore chain to take cigarettes off the shelf. Public health experts called the decision by the company a precedent-setting step that could pressure other stores to follow suit.
** WALT DISNEY CO, Tuesday close $71.05, +0.28 pct premarket
Wall Street expects two new princesses and a muscular Marvel superhero to help lift the company’s quarterly results, as it reaps the benefits of strong performances from film sequel “Thor: The Dark World” and animated musical mega-hit “Frozen.”
** MYRIAD GENETICS INC, Tuesday close $27.18, +12.25 pct premarket
** SAFEGUARD SCIENTIFICS INC Tuesday close $17.64
Molecular diagnostics company Myriad Genetics said it planned to buy Crescendo Bioscience for $270 million to enter the autoimmune market, and raised its full-year forecast.
Venture capital and private equity firm Safeguard Scientifics Inc, which said it has a 13 percent primary ownership position in Crescendo, said it would get about $40 million in aggregate cash proceeds from the deal.
** SYNGENTA, Tuesday close $70, -2.99 pct premarket
The company is to step up cost-cutting to save $1 billion a year by 2018 after the world’s largest maker of crop chemicals reported an 11 percent fall in profit for last year.
** TABLEAU SOFTWARE INC, Tuesday close $79.43, +13.04 pct premarket
The data analysis software maker forecast better-than-expected current-quarter revenue after reporting quarterly results that handily beat analysts’ estimates.
** FORD MOTOR CO., Tuesday close $14.87, -0.81 pct premarket
The automaker will halt production at its Romanian car factory for four days in February because of low demand, officials of the company were quoted as saying.
** ARMOUR INC, Tuesday close $104.65
German sportswear maker Adidas sued the company in a U.S. court over alleged infringement of patents governing fitness training and tracker devices, a court filing showed. The lawsuit relates to products sold by fitness technology company MapMyFitness, which Under Armour bought for $150 million in November.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, Tuesday close $178.73, -0.54 pct premarket
The luxury U.S. electric carmaker is taking a bold step in China to win over clients and cachet by curbing the markup to just half of what some of its rivals can command. Though it risks relegating its brand to a lower tier, Tesla’s marketing strategy could prove a model for other imported brands, which have come under fire from China state media and regulators for allegedly ripping off shoppers with inflated prices.
** HEWLETT PACKARD, Tuesday close $28.33, -0.46 pct premarket
The company said Autonomy, the software firm it bought in 2011, overstated profits at one of its main British units by 81 percent in the year before it was sold in Britain’s biggest ever technology deal.
Separately, two of Hewlett-Packard most powerful executives, until they were sidelined by CEO Meg Whitman, are preparing to leave the company in the coming weeks, several sources say. The departures of two HP veterans who pre-dated Whitman may strengthen her grip on the company, midway through a five-year plan to try and turn around the once-dominant Silicon Valley computing icon.
** TRANSCANADA CORP, Tuesday close $43.09, +0.49 pct premarket
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers voiced support on Tuesday for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, and did not rule out using legislation to force the White House to approve the Canada-to-Texas project. Several U.S. senators and representatives encouraged President Barack Obama to bless TransCanada’s plan to build a line that would carry up to 830,000 barrels per day of oil sands crude from Western Canada and light, sweet crude from North Dakota to oil refiners in the Gulf of Mexico.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, Tuesday close $12.85, +0.16 pct premarket
Medtronic Inc’s stumble in its U.S. medical device study to treat high blood pressure could create an opportunity for other device makers to pick up where their rival has left off, Boston Scientific’s Chief Executive Mike Mahoney said on Tuesday.
** COVANCE INC, Tuesday close $94.27
The research services provider reported a better-than-expected 19 percent jump in quarterly adjusted profit as it gained from higher investments in later stages of drug development by pharma companies.
** GILEAD SCIENCES INC, Tuesday close $82.02, -0.33 pct premarket
The company, which recently began selling a new hepatitis C drug seen generating billions of dollars in sales, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as sales of its flagship HIV drugs beat Wall Street estimates.
** GENWORTH FINANCIAL INC, Tuesday close $14.53
The life and mortgage insurer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as a recovery in housing markets helped its U.S. mortgage insurance business.
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Tuesday close $56.58
A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved a $33 million loan from a group that includes Dish Network Chairman Charles Ergen, to keep wireless venture LightSquared afloat as it tries to hash out a bankruptcy exit plan.
** IDENIX PHARMACEUTICALS INC Tuesday close $6.73, +1.19 pct premarket
The company's largest shareholder, Baupost Group LLC, raised its stake in the company by buying about 16.4 million shares valued at about $106.7 million. The hedge fund had a 35.38 percent stake in the company as of Jan. 31, according to regulatory filing on Tuesday. (link.reuters.com/hyg66v)
Baupost Group previously held a 27.55 percent stake in the company, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** SALLIE MAE CORP, Tuesday close $21.91, +5.02 pct after market
The financial services company specializing in education announced a first-quarter dividend of 15 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on March 21 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 7, the company said.
** INGERSOLL-RAND PLC, Tuesday close $57.28
The diversified manufacturer said on Wednesday that it authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $1.5 billion, and raised its quarterly dividend by 19 percent to 25 cents per share.
The share buyback is expected to begin in the second quarter, after the completion of the company’s current $2 billion buyback program, which was announced in December 2012.
** USANA HEALTH SCIENCES INC, Tuesday close $58.33, +14.00 pct after market
The skincare products company reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter on Tuesday, helped by growth in sales, lower expenses and a lower effective tax rate.
USANA also forecast 2014 results above analysts’ estimates.
** GENOMIC HEALTH INC, Tuesday close $29.5, -10.00 pct after market
The genomic-based diagnostic tests maker posted a quarterly loss mainly due to higher operating expenses and the company forecast weak revenue for 2014.
At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock, citing the full-year forecast, which was below analysts’ estimates.
** KEYW HOLDING CORP, Tuesday close $15.85, -8.30 pct after market
The company, which provides cybersecurity products and services to U.S. defense, intelligence and national security agencies, reported fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates, hurt by the U.S. government shutdown in October last year. (Compiled by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)