June 24, 2013 / 1:27 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Stec, Vanguard, Isis, Keynote Systems, Tenet, Saks

(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/mef29t)

June 24 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Monday:

WALL ST TO OPEN LOWER ON FED, CHINA WORRY

U.S. stocks were set for a lower open on concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus may be drawing to a close and a cash crunch in China could further slow growth. S&P 500 futures were down 11.6 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures 108 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures 13 points.

** VANGUARD HEALTH SYSTEMS INC, Friday close $12.37, up 66 pct premarket

** TENET HEALTHCARE CORP, Friday close $41.85, up 7.4 pct premarket

U.S. hospital operator Tenet Healthcare will buy smaller rival Vanguard Health Systems for $4.3 billion including debt to expand into new geographies.

** WESTERN DIGITAL CORP, Friday close $60.19, down 0.73 pct premarket

** STEC INC, Friday close $3.59, up 86.6 pct premarket

Hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp said it would buy Stec Inc for about $340 million in cash to beef up its solid-state drive business. The offer of $6.85 per share represents a 91 percent premium to Stec’s closing share price on Friday.

** KEYNOTE SYSTEMS INC, Friday close $13.51, up 47 pct premarket

The company, which provides web and mobile cloud monitoring tools, said it would be taken private by an affiliate of private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC for about $395 million in cash. The $20-per-share offer represents a 48 percent premium to the stock’s closing price on Friday.

The company’s stock has been down 4 percent since the beginning of the year and trades at nearly 20 times forward 12-month earnings, compared with a sector median of about 18.

** ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $21.99, up 8.8 pct premarket

Needham & Co analyst Chad Messer said the company’s program to develop a treatment for hypertriglyceridemia, or high levels of a type of fat, is “one of the more significant of many potential drivers for Isis shareholders over the next 12-18 months.”

Messer added that the data presented from a mid-stage study of the drug was “impressive.”

“We are nonetheless impressed with the ability of the drug to demonstrate such consistent effects in a small study after just 12 weeks of treatment.”

** SOLAZYME INC, Friday close $12.62, down 9 percent premarket

The bioproducts company said it had agreed with Roquette Frères SA, a food ingredient supplier, to dissolve their joint venture, which was set up to develop microalgae-based healthy food ingredients and oils.

Solazyme said the venture was being terminated due to divergent views on an acceptable commercial strategy and timeline for the manufacturing and marketing of joint venture products.

** SAKS INC, Friday close $13.39, up 3.4 pct premarket

The department store operator is a serious acquisition target of Canadian firm Hudson Bay Co, according to retail news website Women's Wear Daily. (r.reuters.com/tef29t)

** STAR BULK CARRIERS CORP, Friday close $5.66, up 9 pct after market

The drybulk shipper said on Friday it would raise $75 million through an offering of 14 million common shares. The company will use the proceeds for new vessels, working capital and general corporate purposes.

** ALLERGAN INC, Friday close $92.70, down 3.4 pct premarket

Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Aaron Gal said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s released draft guidance for generic Restasis -- Allergan’s eye drops to treat chronic dry eye disease -- would not be “prohibitively difficult” to execute.

Restasis is Allergan’s second biggest drug and Gal said the FDA had “previously indicated clinical trials would be necessary to obtain approval and such trials are prohibitively expensive.”

** KKR & CO LP, Friday close $18.70

Funds managed by KKR & Co LP will buy clinical research group PRA International from Genstar Capital LLC for an undisclosed amount, PRA said on Monday, underscoring growing private equity interest in the contract research industry.

** FACEBOOK INC, Friday close $24.53, down 2 pct premarket

The social network has inadvertently exposed 6 million users’ phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers over the past year, it disclosed late on Friday.

** CELL THERAPEUTICS INC, Friday close $1.22, down 4 pct premarket

Cell Therapeutics said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed a partial clinical hold on the company’s experimental blood cancer drug after the death of a patient.

** BARRICK GOLD CORP, Friday close $16.89, down 2 pct premarket

The gold producer will lay off up to a third of its corporate staff at its headquarters in Toronto and other offices, sources said, as the world’s top bullion producer intensifies a downsizing plan amid a slump in the price of gold.

** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, $66.71, down 5 pct premarket

** FREEPORT-MCMORAN COPPER AND GOLD INC, Friday close $28.16, down 2.3 pct premarket

** GOLDCORP INC, Friday close $24.59, down 2 pct premarket

** ROYAL GOLD INC, Friday close $46.19, down 1.5 pct premarket

** NEWMONT MINING CORP, Friday close $30.05, down 1.5 pct

** IAMGOLD CORP, Friday close $4.36, down 1.3 pct premarket

** YAMANA GOLD INC, Friday close $9.49, down 1 pct premarket

Goldman Sachs cut its year-end 2013 gold price forecast to $1,300 an ounce from $1,435, citing a decline in U.S. interest rates as the U.S. Federal Reserve prepares to scale down its stimulus program.

** AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC, Friday close $43.69, down 1 pct premarket

AIG’s unit extended the date for a Chinese consortium to get regulatory approvals to buy the airplane-leasing business till July 31. AIG announced the deal to sell International Lease Finance Corp last December for $4.8 billion to a consortium including New China Trust, one-fifth owned by Barclays Plc , China Aviation Industrial Fund and P3 Investments Ltd.

** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, Friday close $27.27, down 1 pct premarket

Vodafone has agreed to buy Germany’s largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland for 7.7 billion euros ($10 billion), betting on TV and fixed-line services in its biggest deal since 2007.

** CON-WAY INC, Friday close $38.89

Shares of Con-Way could jump by as much as 20 percent by year-end after the U.S. trucking company finishes overhauling its business as the country’s economy recovers, business weekly Barron’s said in its June 24 edition.

** SMITHFIELD FOODS INC, Friday close $32.94

More U.S. senators on Friday raised concerns about a Chinese company’s plan to buy the U.S. pork company, particularly in light of restrictions that China continues to place on imports of U.S. meat. Chinese meat company Shuanghui International hopes to buy Smithfield for $4.7 billion in what would be the biggest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.

** MARATHON OIL CORP, Friday close $34.27

China’s Sinopec Group has agreed to buy Marathon’s Angolan offshore oil and gas field for $1.52 billion, Asia’s largest refiner producer said.

** APPLE INC, Friday close $413.50, down 1.2 pct premarket

Chief Executive Tim Cook’s one-time stock award worth over $413 million as of Friday is now partly subject to the performance of the shares, a move that followed discussions with the company’s largest shareholders.

** ELI LILLY AND CO, Friday close $49.91, down 2 pct premarket

A once-weekly drug for type 2 diabetes developed by Eli Lilly worked better at controlling blood sugar than three other widely used medicines, according to data from late-stage clinical trials.

** FORD MOTOR CO, Friday close $15.00, down 1.7 pct premarket

Ford is expected to announce on Monday a pilot program designed to cut the cost of health care for its blue-collar workers and retirees.

** NRG ENERGY INC, Friday close $25.42

The No. 2 U.S. power generating company said it was increasing its forecast for 2014 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) by $90 million to a range of $2.85-$3.05 billion, citing its purchase of rival GenOn Energy Inc.

NRG Energy is also increasing its estimate for free cash flow before growth by $50 million to $1.05-$1.25 billion in 2013, and by $200 million to $1.10-$1.30 billion in 2014.

** CRESTWOOD MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP, Friday close $24.99

The company, which transports natural gas and related liquids, said its unit Crestwood Niobrara LLC will acquire a 50 percent stake in Jackalope Gas Gathering Services LLC in Wyoming from RKI Exploration & Production LLC for about $108 million to enter into the emerging Powder River Basin.

The other 50 percent interest in Jackalope is owned by Access Midstream Partners LP. (Compiled by Kanika Sikka; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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