U.S. stock index futures rose modestly on Wednesday, indicating the S&P 500 may rebound from its worst drop since August, on expectations Janet Yellen will be tapped as the next chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. S&P 500 futures were up 3.9 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures 24 points and Nasdaq 100 futures 6.25 points.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $480.94, up 1 pct premarket
Apple intends to introduce its latest line-up of iPads on Oct. 22, tech blog AllThingsD cited sources familiar with the company’s plans as saying, meaning Apple would be updating its tablets in time for holiday shopping.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $17.14, down 63 pct premarket
Ariad Pharmaceuticals said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had placed a partial hold on patient enrollment for trials of its cancer drug Iclusig after a number of patients taking the drug experienced blood clots and heart damage.
** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, Tuesday close $41.66, up 14 pct premarket
** MEN‘S WEARHOUSE INC, Tuesday close $35.24, up 33 pct premarket
Jos. A. Bank has proposed to buy bigger rival Men’s Wearhouse for about $2.3 billion to create a men’s apparel heavyweight with more than 1,700 stores.
** YUM BRANDS INC, Tuesday close $71.30, down 7 pct premarket
The KFC parent on Tuesday warned that it will take longer than expected for its China restaurant sales to rebound, delaying a recovery in the market that accounts for more than half of the company’s overall operating profit.
** CYTRX CORP, $2.74, down 17 pct premarket
The drug developer said it will offer 10 million of its common stock at $2.25 per share, to raise gross proceeds of $22.5 million.
The Los Angeles-based company intends to use net proceeds from the public offering to fund the clinical development of its experimental cancer drug, aldoxorubicin, and for general corporate purposes.
** CALLIDUS SOFTWARE INC, Tuesday close $8.60, up 12 pct premarket
The HR management software maker lifted its revenue forecast for 2013 on Tuesday, prompting at least three brokerages to raise their price targets on the company’s stock.
The company said it expects revenue to be between $108.5 million and $109.5 million, compared with its previous forecast of $106.0 to $109.0 million.
The company, which expects revenue in the third quarter to come in above its previous forecast, said it closed two seven-figure annual license deals in the quarter.
** SUNTECH POWER HOLDINGS CO LTD, Tuesday close $1.70, up 11 pct premarket
Hong Kong-listed Chinese solar panel maker Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Ltd has submitted a bid for a stake in the main unit of rival Suntech, which is struggling under a mountain of debt.
** K12 INC, Tuesday close $28.59, down 24 pct premarket
Two brokerages cut their ratings on the online education services provider’s stock, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
Baird cut its rating to “neutral” from “outperform”, while BMO cut to “market perform” from “outperform”.
** J C PENNEY CO INC, Tuesday close $7.77, up 2 pct premarket
The struggling retailer said on Wednesday that Stephen Sadove will join its board of directors once he leaves the helm of department store chain Saks Inc.
** VIVUS INC, Tuesday close $10.13, up 4 pct premarket
The drugmaker, citing results of a study, said high-risk overweight patients with prediabetes and/or metabolic syndrome who were taking Vivus’s weight-loss medicine Qsymia over two years experienced reductions of up to 78.7 percent in their annualized incidence rate of type 2 diabetes, in addition to losing weight.
** FAMILY DOLLAR, Tuesday close $69.45, down 3 pct premarket
Family Dollar posted a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, as it worked on keeping its costs down while shoppers’ focus on everyday purchases such as food pressured sales, and said it has a cautious approach to 2014.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Tuesday close $72.90
Wal-Mart and Bharti Enterprises are breaking up their Indian joint venture, leaving the world’s biggest retailer to go it alone in a country where it has struggled to build a bigger presence.
** FORD MOTOR CO, Tuesday close $16.50
Ford is poised to overtake its Japanese rivals on the top seller’s list in China as Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co struggle to regain market share following a flare-up in anti-Japanese sentiment a year ago.
** BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC, Tuesday close $
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Tuesday close
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a 2.8 percent passive stake in Goldman Sachs as it converted warrants acquired during the financial crisis.
** ALCATEL-LUCENT, Tuesday close $3.49, up 1 pct premarket
The French government warned telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent on Wednesday it could block any restructuring plans for France unless it negotiates with unions to save as many local jobs as possible.
** TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC, Tuesday close $32.44
Proxy advisory group ISS has urged Twenty-First Century Fox shareholders to vote against the reelection of Chairman Rupert Murdoch and some other board members at an annual shareholders meeting this month, criticizing the company’s adoption of a poison pill.
** ALPHATEC HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $1.93, up 11 pct after market
The medical devices maker on Tuesday said it expects to report third-quarter revenue ahead of analysts’ estimates, citing strong growth in all its markets.
Jefferies & Co analysts said they continue to rate the stock “buy” as the company makes progress in stabilizing the business and delivering more consistent financial results against a very low valuation.
** GLADSTONE INVESTMENT CORP, Tuesday close $6.80, up 2 pct after market
The investment company increased its common stock monthly cash distributions by 20 percent for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, Tuesday close $10.08, up 3 pct after market
CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who hosts “Mad Money”, said on Tuesday the Taiwanese chipmaker’s stock was giving investors something to get excited about in a troubled market, The Street said. ()
Cramer said the company has $1 per share in cash and also pays a 2.5 percent dividend, which will afford it some protection as the markets continue to fall, the report said.
Cramer had last week said the stock was a buy.
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS, $Tuesday close $38.78, up 1 pct premarket
Teva does not expect to see the launch of generic copies of GlaxoSmithKline’s best-selling lung drug Advair that could be sold as a true substitute to U.S. patients before 2018.
** PFIZER INC, Tuesday close $28.24
Nearly three years after a cost-cutting drive that stunned many in the drugs industry, Pfizer’s head of research Mikael Dolsten says his scientists are delivering more for less.
** MEDTRONIC INC, Tuesday close $52.46
A federal advisory panel recommended that Medtronic Inc MDT.N be allowed to sell a line of implantable heart rhythm devices to a larger pool of patients, based on research showing the products lowered the risk of death and hospitalization.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $115.44
Stung by the loss of a multi-billion dollar jet order from Japan Airlines to arch-rival Airbus, Boeing will mount an all-out defence of its position with Japan’s other major airline, ANA, a source close to the U.S. planemaker said.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $50.87
JP Morgan is looking to cut back on lending to businesses it sees as posing risks to its reputation amid a period of heightened regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the situation.
** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, Tuesday close $6.99
The maker of power-management chips said it would cut up to 870 jobs at its Sanyo Semiconductor unit as it looks to reduce costs.
** DYAX CORP, Tuesday close $6.65, down 4 pct after market
The drugmaker said it would sell shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. The company did not say how many shares it would sell or their pricing.
** ALCOA INC, Tuesday close $7.94, up 2.5 pct premarket
The aluminum producer reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday as strength at the unit that sells auto parts and other complex items helped offset lower metal prices.
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Tuesday close $112.21, down 2 pct premarket
Costco posted a weaker-than-expected 1.3 percent rise in quarterly profit as operating costs rose.
** PACIFIC SUNWEAR OF CALIFORNIA INC, Tuesday close $3.00, down 2 pct after market
Piper Jaffray & Co on Tuesday downgraded its rating on the retailer’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight,” according to Streetinsider.com.
** WI-LAN INC, Tuesday close $3.37
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Tuesday close $7.98
Patent licensing company Wi-Lan said it and BlackBerry struck a deal to dismiss all pending patent litigation between the companies.
** RITE AID CORP, Tuesday close $5.00
Canadian pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group Inc’s quarterly profit rose more than four-fold due to a C$158.3 million ($153 million) gain from the sale of its investment in drugstore chain Rite Aid.
** HEALTH NET INC, Tuesday close $32.27
Managed care company Health Net said payments for healthcare services it provides to military families would be delayed due to the U.S. government shutdown.
** RPM INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $35.72
The chemical company reported a bigger-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by higher revenue from its consumer business.
** CELGENE CORP,$148.53, up 1 pct premarket
RBC Capital Markets analysts raised their target price on the stock to $170 from $150, saying the company’s increasingly diversified growth trajectory looks positive with the imminent launch of three ‘near-blockbuster’ drugs - Pomalidomide for relapsed refractory myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer; pancreatic cancer drug, Abraxane, and Apremilast for the treatment of a variety of autoimmune disorders.