October 25, 2012 / 12:47 PM / 5 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Ford, Starwood, Biogen, Corelogic, Infinera, Fusion-io

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on STXNEWS/US; for the day ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s)

FUTURES GAIN ON CHINA OPTIMISM; DATA, EARNINGS IN FOCUS

Index futures rose, indicating the S&P 500 may rebound from its worst five-day slide in five months, on optimism China’s economy may be recovering and ahead of a flurry of economic data and corporate earnings.

S&P 500 futures rose 7.9 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 60 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 17.5 points.

** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $616.83, up 0.5 pct premarket

Amid the fanfare accompanying the noisy launch of the iPad mini this week, Apple also took the wraps off new Mac computers on Wednesday.

** ZYNGA INC, Wednesday close $2.12, up 16 pct premarket

The “FarmVille” creator raised the lower end of its 2012 earnings outlook after quarterly revenue beat Wall Street’s rock-bottom expectations.

** FORD MOTOR CO, Wednesday close $10.17, up 1.1. pct premarket

Teh carmaker said it will reduce production capacity in Europe by 18 percent, or 355,000 vehicles, and cut 6,200 jobs to bring its European operations back into profit.

** PSS WORLD MEDICAL, Wednesday close $21.60, up 32.4 pct premarket

McKesson Corp will buy PSS for $1.46 billion to bolster its medical surgical business.

** POTASH CORP , Wednesday close $40.59, down 1.3 pct premarket

The world’s biggest fertilizer maker reported a 22 percent drop in third-quarter earnings on Thursday, just below analysts’ expectations, as sales of the crop nutrient potash to China and India slipped, the company said.

** PROCTER & GAMBLE CO, Wednesday close $68.08, up 0.8 pct premarket

Procter & Gamble’s profit excluding items rose more than expected and the world’s largest household products maker maintained a key forecast for the year, which indicated it is making progress after coming under pressure from activist investor William Ackman.

** COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO, Wednesday close $106.56

The toothpaste maker unveiled a cost-cutting plan that included cutting its workforce by the end of 2016 by about 6 percent.

** FUSION-IO INC, Wednesday close $27.30, down 5 pct premarket

The company, which makes hard disks and storage software, forecast second-quarter results below Wall Street’s expectations.

At least three brokerages cut their price targets on the stock. “The Dec-qtr guide was disappointing as it represented the first quarter in which Fusion-io did not raise expectations,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said.

** HERSHEY CO, Wednesday close $70.12

Hershey reported a slightly higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year outlook, citing the benefit of an acquisition and commodity costs that should not be as high as anticipated.

** BIOGEN IDEC INC, Wednesday close $142.06, up 2 pct premarket

The biotechnology company reported a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit on increased sales of its drugs for multiple sclerosis and cancer, and raised its full-year earnings forecast.

** STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC, Wednesday close $53.43, down 1.3 pct premarket

Starwood, whose brands include Sheraton and Westin, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher room rates and occupancy, and the company raised its forecast for the full year.

** BEST BUY CO INC, Wednesday close $16.92, down 5 pct premarket

The retailer warned that earnings and same-store sales would fall for its third quarter, and said the head of its U.S. business will leave as the world’s largest consumer electronics chain starts to restructure under a new CEO.

** F5 NETWORKS INC, Wednesday close $93.32, down 11 pct premarket

The network gear maker forecast a weak first-quarter as its large U.S. enterprise and telecoms customers reduced spending.

** SYMANTEC CORP, Wednesday close $17.38, up 10.4 pct premarket

Symantec reported results ahead of Wall Street expectations as its new chief executive took direct control its sales force as part of an effort to turn around the maker of security software.

** SPRINT NEXTEL CORP, Wednesday close $5.62, up 1.4 pct premarket

The company posted a wider loss in the third quarter as it spent heavily on a network upgrade and lost customers from its iDen network, which it is shutting down.

** RYLAND GROUP INC, Wednesday close $32.79, up 3.3 pct premarket

The home builder reported better-than-expected third quarter results, helped by a jump in homebuilding revenue as new orders rose more than 55 percent during the period.

** SUPERVALU INC, Wednesday close $2.92, up 2.7 pct premarket

Buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management is preparing a takeover bid for the third-largest U.S. supermarket chain with an eye toward divesting the troubled company’s assets to several parties only interested in pieces, according to people familiar with the matter.

** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $36.11, up 8.5 pct premarket

The company’s third-quarter results topped estimates and the Internet content delivery company said it expects increased online activity during the holiday season to boost its revenue.

** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, Wednesday close $42.69, down 5.6 pct premarket

The largest North American producer of iron ore pellets used in steelmaking, posted an 85 percent drop in profit on lower iron ore prices and higher costs. nL3E8LO7X1

** CROCS INC, Wednesday close $16.19, down 12 pct premarket

The shoemaker said weakness in Europe hurt its third-quarter revenue, and forecast fourth-quarter results below analysts’ expectations.

** CORELOGIC INC, Wednesday close $26.54, up 9 pct premarket

The company forecast full-year results above analysts’ expectations and reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

** LOGMEIN INC Wednesday close $20.07, up 5 pct post-market

The company which makes remote access software, reported third-quarter profit above analysts estimates, helped by a rise in subscription revenue and forecast marginally better-than-expected results for the current-quarter.

** MYLAN INC, Wednesday close $23.94, up 0.7 pct

Mylan’s quarterly profit rose 35 percent, driven by a rise in sales of EpiPen, its anti-allergen delivery product, and its generic drugs in North America, and the drugmaker raised its adjusted earnings forecast for 2012.

** DUNKIN’ BRANDS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $30.81, up 1.2 pct premarket

Dunkin’ Brands’ profit quadrupled, topping Wall Street estimates, but revenue fell short of forecasts as sales cooled at established U.S. Dunkin’ Donuts cafes.

** PULTEGROUP INC, Wednesday close $17.45, up 0.4 pct premarket

The second largest U.S. homebuilder reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and a sharp rise in new orders as housing demand rebounded.

** TIMKEN CO, Wednesday close $36.61, down 0.7 pct premarket

The bearings maker posted a lower quarterly profit and cut its full-year sales forecast, citing weak demand and a fragile global economy.

** BUNGE LTD, Wednesday close $68.62, down 0.2 pct premarket

The agribusiness firm reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter results, hurt by drought and other adverse weather conditions that have reduced global harvests.

** INFINERA CORP Wednesday close $4.70, up 9.6 pct post-market

The company, which makes chips used in telecom networks, reported a smaller-than-expected third-quarter loss, helped by new customers and higher demand for its products.

** SKECHERS USA INC, Wednesday $16.61, up 6 pct post-market

The company, which designs and sells shoes of its namesake brand, reported its first profit in four quarters on Wednesday, as it benefited from tighter inventory control and gave an upbeat outlook on strong sales across all operating segments.

** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, Wednesday close $9.09, up 13 pct post-market The company, which provides consumer reviews of local professionals and businesses, posted higher third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations and forecast current-quarter revenue inline with expectations.

** CME GROUP INC, Wednesday close $56.55

The biggest operator of U.S. futures exchanges reported a 30.5 percent decline in quarterly profit as investors bought and sold fewer futures and options.

** EVERCORE PARTNERS INC, Wednesday close $25.64

The company’s third quarter profit beat Wall Street estimates as the boutique investment bank closed more deals despite a weak M&A market and saw lower compensation related expenses.

** ST. JUDE MEDICAL INC, Wednesday close $39.71

The medical device maker said it received a Form 483 notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about its manufacturing plant in Sylmar, California, where it makes cardiac rhythm management products.

** HESS CORP, Wednesday close $52.53

The company said it agreed to sell its interest in the Beryl area fields in the North Sea and the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation System to Royal Dutch Shell for $525 million.

** AETNA INC, Wednesday close $43.95

The third-largest U.S. health insurer reported a higher quarterly profit that beat expectations, saying it had reached its 2012 goal of 18.2 million members ahead of schedule and kept costs down.

** NEXEN INC , Wednesday close $23.76

Canadian oil and gas producer said it still expects a $15.1 billion takeover bid by China’s CNOOC Ltd to close in the current quarter.

** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $23.69

General Motors plans to have talks to buy a stake in its South Korean unit from the unit’s second-biggest shareholder, Korea Development Bank(KDB), the head of GM Korea said on Thursday.

** CARLYLE GROUP LP, Wednesday close $25.73

The U.S. private-equity firm has signed its first ever investment in Southeast Asia, with a deal to buy a stake of around 25 percent in a publicly traded Indonesian telecom towers operator for about $100 million, sources with knowledge of the deal said.

** MEDTRONIC INC, Wednesday close $41.69

The medical device maker edited health journal articles and paid physicians for company-sponsored studies of its Infuse bone graft product used in spinal surgery, a U.S. Senate Committee alleged in a report published on Thursday.

** ASM INTERNATIONAL N.V. , Wednesday close $32.20

The Dutch chip equipment maker reported a 94 percent fall in profit for the third quarter, weighed down by a 79 percent fall in operating profit.

** MORNINGSTAR INC, Wednesday close $62.54

The company’s third-quarter profit rose 27 percent as the investment research firm kept a lid on operating costs, mainly by setting aside less money for bonuses.

** NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO INC, Wednesday close

The largest U.S. oilfield equipment maker reported a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit as the demand for new offshore drilling equipment rose.

** CONSOL ENERGY INC, Wednesday close $34.63

The coal and natural gas producer reported a third-quarter loss on a fall in production after it was forced to idle several mines due to weak coal prices. (Compiled by Ranjita Ganesan in Bangalore)

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