October 25, 2012 / 1:34 PM / 5 years ago

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

12 Min Read

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

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on STXNEWS/US; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/faq23t; 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.

** PROCTER & GAMBLE CO, Wednesday close $68.08, up 2.5 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.

** CHEVRON CORP, Wednesday close $109.71, up 0.7 pct premarket

The company announced further natural gas discovery offshore Australia.

** 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.

** INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO, Wednesday close $36.38, down 1.6 pct premarket

One of the world's largest producers of corrugated packaging and paper posted a lower-than-expected profit on Thursday due to weak sales of consumer packaging in North America and Asia.

** 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.

** LSI CORP, Wednesday close $9.20, up 3.3 pct premarket

The chipmaker forecast on Wednesday revenue below expectations as slow PC sales and a weak economy hurt demand for storage controllers.

** CELGENE CORP, Wednesday close $74.06, up 2.3 pct premarket

The company's quarterly earnings rose 14 percent, beating expectations, on strong sales of its Revlimid cancer treatment and lower costs, and the biotechnology company narrowly raised its full-year profit forecast.

** 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.

At least three brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.

** WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORP, Wednesday close $63.15, down 7 pct premarket

The payday and online lender posted second-quarter profit that widey missed Wall Street estimates, as the company was hurt by higher costs and setting aside more money to cover bad loans.

** 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 8.6 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.

** MEAD JOHNSON NUTRITION CO, Wednesday close $69.51, down 4 pct premarket

The maker of Enfamil baby formula reported lower quarterly profit on Thursday and cut its full-year outlook, hurt by a slowdown in China.

** 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.

** WYNN RESORTS LTD, Wednesday close $112.23, up 4.1 pct premarket

The Las Vegas-based company said on Wednesday it would issue an $8 per share dividend and was doubling its quarterly dividend to $1 a share in 2013.

** CIENA CORP, Wednesday close $12.17, up 2 pct premarket

FBR Capital Markets raised the network equipment maker to "outperform."

** 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.

** AETNA INC, Wednesday close $43.95, up 2 pct premarket

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.

** SHIRE PLC , Wednesday close $85.06, up 2.3 pct premarket

The pharmaceutical group said its chief executive Angus Russell would be replaced by Flemming Ornskov, an executive from Bayer, to help steer the acquisitive company to continued growth.

** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $23.69, up 1.1 pct premarket

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.

** MEDTRONIC INC, Wednesday close $41.69, down 2 pct premarket

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.

Compiled by Ranjita Ganesan in Bangalore

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