(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 dipped on Thursday, setting Wall Street up for a third day of losses, as investors awaited a batch of economic data that may provide clues on how soon the Federal Reserve will start trimming back its stimulus efforts. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.13 percent at 15,815, S&P 500 futures were down 0.13 percent at 1,778.4 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.09 percent at 3,467.25.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $561.36, +0.29 pct premarket
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Thursday lost its bid to ban sales of Apple’s older iPhone and iPad in South Korea after a court dismissed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. firm had infringed on three of Samsung’s mobile patents.
Separately the iPhone maker on Thursday said it sent medical experts to contractor Pegatron Corp’s Shanghai factory last month after a 15-year-old employee died of pneumonia.
** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $49.38, +3.69 pct premarket
** WILLIAMS COS, Wednesday close $34.34
Standard & Poor’s said on Wednesday Facebook will join its S&P 500 stock index after the close of trading on Dec. 20, cementing the social media network’s rise into one of the biggest, most powerful U.S. companies.
Facebook will also replace Williams Cos in the S&P 100 index of large U.S. companies. Williams will remain in the S&P 500.
** UNS ENERGY CORP, Wednesday close $45.84, +30 pct after market
Fortis Inc has reached a friendly deal to buy Arizona-focused utility UNS Energy for about $2.5 billion in cash, the Canadian power company said on Wednesday, as it looks to expand its presence in the United States.
** CIENA CORP, Wednesday close $22.9, -10.26 pct premarket
The network equipment maker reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as costs rose 20 percent and forecast current-quarter revenue largely below Wall Street estimates.
** ATHENAHEALTH INC, Wednesday close $130.85, -13.54 pct premarket
The company said it expects 2014 earnings of $0.98-$1.10 per share on sales of $725-$755 million, both of which were well below analysts’ estimates.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.38 per share on revenue of $765.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, Wednesday close $68.35, -9.14 pct premarket
The Canadian yogawear chain, which appointed a new chief executive this week, said on Thursday it expects flat same-store sales in the crucial fourth quarter even as it reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations.
** SUNEDISON INC, Wednesday close $12.79, -7.27 pct premarket
The solar company on Wednesday cut it sales forecast to $905-$915 million, from $920-$930 million as it plans to keep more solar plants on its balance sheet rather than selling them.
The company, which is planning to spin off some plants and take them public next year, expects to sell about 380-405 megawatts (MW) of solar projects this year, lower than its earlier forecast of 405-435 MW.
** EMBRAER SA, Wednesday close $30.18, +6.03 pct premarket
American Airlines ordered 60 regional jets in a deal worth $2.5 billion at list prices from the world’s third-largest commercial planemaker. Delivery of the new E175 aircraft will begin in the first quarter of 2015, Embraer said on Thursday.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday close $56.07
The bank and federal authorities are nearing settlements over its relationship with convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, striking tentative deals that would involve about $2 billion in penalties and a rare criminal action, the New York Times reported.
** PEPSICO INC, Wednesday close $82.67
** COCA-COLA CO, Wednesday close $40.13
Pepsi is set to replace Coca-Cola as the beverage supplier to restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
** COLDWATER CREEK INC, Wednesday close $0.84, -11 pct after market
The women’s apparel retailer reported third-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates, hurt by the disappointing performance of its fall merchandise.
** VERA BRADLEY INC, Wednesday close $22.76, -8 pct after market
The handbag and accessories retailer on Wednesday forecast current-quarter results below analysts’ estimates, citing a persistently challenging retail environment.
At least two brokerages cut their price targets on the company’s stock on Thursday.
** SIGMA DESIGNS INC, Wednesday close $5.35, -21.50 pct premarket
The company, which makes chips for set-top boxes, reported lower-than-expected third-quarter results on Wednesday.
Needham cut its rating on the stock to “buy” from “hold”, saying the falling demand in the company’s business that makes chips for transferring IP content over cables or phone wires will pressure revenue till the second half of fiscal 2015. The brokerage also removed its $6 price target.
** SUPERTEL HOSPITALITY INC, Wednesday close $4.00, -14.5 pct after market
The real estate investment trust said it suspended dividend payments on its outstanding preferred stock to preserve capital and improve liquidity.
** PROTHENA CORP, Wednesday close $27.39, +8.62 pct premarket
Roche has raised it bet on medicines for the human brain by signing a deal with Ireland’s Prothena worth up to $600 million to develop and commercialize a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
** NORDSON CORP, Wednesday close $71.76, +2 pct after market
The company, which makes products used in dispensing and processing adhesives and coatings, reported fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates and forecast current-quarter sales above estimates.
“We’re encouraged by recent order rates, which began to gain momentum during the fourth quarter,” Chief Executive Michael Hilton said in a statement.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, Wednesday close $26.77, +1.53 pct premarket
The solar panel maker said it had been awarded a deal to supply 100 megawatts of solar panels to three projects in China.
** IAMGOLD CORP, Wednesday close $3.84, -3.65 pct premarket
The Canadian gold miner on Wednesday suspended dividend payments to reduce costs by $100 million in 2013 and said it would look for further cuts in 2014 due to the fall in gold prices.
** STAR GAS PARTNERS LP, Wednesday close $5.44, -7 pct after market
The home heating oil and propane distributor on Wednesday reported a higher quarterly loss, mainly due to a fall in the value of derivative instruments.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Wednesday close $94.26, +0.46 pct premarket
The world's largest publicly traded oil company wants the United States to remove restrictions on exporting oil, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the company's annual long-term energy demand outlook. (link.reuters.com/meh45v)
Exxon, due to release its energy demand outlook later on Thursday, is pressing for crude exports as it expects decades of ample crude supplies in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as rising global demand, the newspaper said.
** CHEVRON CORP, Wednesday close $122.10
The second-largest U.S. oil company said it plans to spend $39.8 billion on projects and exploration in 2014, about 5 percent below the expected 2013 spending.
** CENOVUS ENERGY INC, Wednesday close $28.51
Canada’s No. 2 independent oil producer, said it plans to reduce capital spending by 13 percent in 2014, but forecast a 10 percent rise in oil production.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, Wednesday close $11.18, +3.67 pct premarket
An advisory panel of medical experts voted on Wednesday to recommend that U.S. health regulators approve an experimental stroke-prevention device made by Boston Scientific.
** MORGAN STANLEY, Wednesday close $30.12
The bank has launched a formal effort to sell its controlling stake in U.S. oil terminal and transport business TransMontaigne, four sources said on Wednesday, following other Wall Street powerhouses in yielding to intense regulatory pressure to get out of commodity investments.
** FREEPORT MCMORAN COPPER & GOLD, Wednesday close $34.45
The company warned that Indonesia’s plan to ban mineral exports from next month would cut the firm’s revenues in the country by 65 percent, costing Southeast Asia’s biggest economy $1.6 billion in lost revenue next year.
** ALLIANCE DATA SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $243.70, +3 pct after market
** MOHAWK INDUSTRIES INC, Wednesday close $139.52, +2.4 pct after market
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, Wednesday close $33.27, -1 pct after market
** JDS UNIPHASE CORP, Wednesday close $12.18
** TERADYNE INC, Wednesday close $16.84
Standard & Poor’s said on Wednesday it will add marketing solutions company Alliance Data Systems and floor covering company Mohawk Industries to its S&P 500 stock index, and remove Abercrombie & Fitch, JDS Uniphase and Teradyne.
** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, Wednesday close $29.15
Hotel operator Hilton raised $2.34 billion in its IPO on Wednesday, returning to the public markets some six years after Blackstone took it private in one of the largest deals of the leveraged buyout boom.
Hilton, whose brands include such high-end names as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, priced its shares at $20, within the expected range, and gave the world’s largest hotel operator an equity value of $19.7 billion.
The stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker symbol “HLT.”
The food services provider raised $725 million from its initial public offering after its shares were priced at $20 per share -- the low end of its planned $20 to $23 price range, an underwriter told Reuters.
The stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol “ARMK”. (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Edited by Savio D‘Souza)