December 23, 2013 / 12:42 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Apple, BlackBerry, Darden, Ambac Financial, Target

(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 rose on Monday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.27 percent at 16,225, S&P 500 futures were up 0.42 percent at 1,822.2 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.59 percent at 3,553.

** APPLE INC, Friday close $549.02, +3.67 pct premarket

** CHINA MOBILE LTD, Friday close $51.63, +3.00 pct after market

Apple said it signed a long-awaited agreement with China Mobile to sell iPhones through the world’s biggest network of mobile phone users. In a deal that could add billions of dollars to its revenue, Apple said its smartphones would be available to China Mobile customers starting Jan. 17.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Friday close $7.22, +0.00 pct premarket

The company said on Friday that it was entering a handset production deal that lowered the risk it would have to take more massive writedowns on unsold smartphones. BlackBerry announced the five-year partnership with FIH Mobile Ltd. The Hong Kong-listed unit of Taiwan’s Foxconn will initially build low-end devices for sale in Indonesia and other emerging markets.

** SPRINT CORP, Friday close $9.86, +1.93 pct premarket

** T-MOBILE US INC, Friday close $31, +1.00 pct after market

Japanese tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp’s Chief Executive Masayoshi Son held talks with at least five banks to finance a possible bid by Sprint to buy a majority stake in T-Mobile US in 2014, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

** FIVE BELOW INC, Friday close $42.725, +1.67 pct premarket

Credit Suisse raised its rating on the value retailer’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC, Friday close $51.09, +3.74 pct premarket

Activist investor Starboard Value LP has taken a 5.6 percent stake in Darden, which it plans to disclose in a regulatory filing on Monday, according to a person familiar with the situation.

** MCKESSON CORP, Friday close $161.5

Hedge fund Elliott International dashed hopes on Monday it would accept U.S. wholesale drugs group McKesson’s $8.3 billion offer for European counterpart Celesio, saying it had “irrevocably bound itself” not to accept the bid in its current form.

** UNITED THERAPEUTICS CORP, Friday close $87.84, +9.64 pct premarket

The biotechnology company said on Friday that U.S. health regulators approved its oral pulmonary arterial hypertension drug in patients to improve exercise capacity.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by high pressure in the arteries that transport blood from the heart to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

Cowen raised its price target on the company’s stock to $94 from $89.

** HOLOGIC INC, Friday close $22.41, +2.36 pct after market

Relational Investors LLC said it had a 7.3 percent stake in the medical device maker. This makes the investment fund Hologic’s fourth largest shareholder.

Relational Investors said in a regulatory filing on Friday that it believed Hologic's stock "trades at a discount to fair value." (link.reuters.com/zef65v)

** TARGET CORP, Friday close $62.49, -0.70 pct premarket

In the wake of a massive data breach, the company suffered reduced customer traffic over one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported. The number of transactions at Target fell 3-4 percent compared with last year’s final weekend before Christmas, while, transactions at other retailers were strong, the Journal said, citing estimates by retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners LLC.

** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Friday close $92.09, +0.43 pct premarket

** TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD, Friday close $39.51, -0.28 pct premarket

European regulators on Friday recommended approval of an innovative tuberculosis drug from the company but postponed a keenly awaited decision on a new multiple sclerosis pill from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

** TIFFANY & CO, Friday close $90.62, -1.77 pct premarket

The New York-based jeweler said on Sunday that a Dutch arbitration court ruled that it must pay Swatch Group 402 million Swiss francs ($449 million) in damages over their failed joint venture to produce and market watches. Tiffany also slashed its profit forecast for the year.

** MORGAN STANLEY, Friday close $30.93

The bank has sold the majority of its global physical oil trading operations to Russian state-run oil major Rosneft , becoming the latest Wall Street firm to dispose of a major part of its commodity business.

** AMBAC FINANCIAL GROUP INC, Friday close $20.63, +11.05 pct premarket

Shares of the bond insurer could be poised for steep gains in the coming years if the company continues to shrink its portfolio of obligations, business weekly Barron’s wrote on Sunday.

** TAMINCO CORP, Friday close $19.51

U.S. chemicals group Taminco said it would broaden its offering by acquiring the formic acid business of Finland’s Kemira for 140 million euros ($191 million).

** BOEING CO, Friday close $136.67, +0.70 pct premarket

Unionized workers at the company will vote on Jan. 3 on its latest proposed contract, according to a statement issued by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers late on Sunday.

** CONOCOPHILLIPS, Friday close $69.88

Statoil was awarded a license to explore for oil in block 6 off northeast Greenland, in the Arctic Ocean, along with its partners ConocoPhillips and Nunaoil, the Norwegian company said late on Friday.

** VIMPELCOM, Friday close $12.30

The company, Russia’s third largest mobile telecommunications network operator, is considering selling, merging or refinancing its Italian unit Wind, which has debts of around $14 billion, the Financial Times newspaper reported.

** AT&T INC, Friday close $34.30

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, Friday close $48.08

AT&T will join rival Verizon Communications in disclosing details on government requests for customer data starting in 2014, after investors called on the two largest U.S. carriers to reveal more about controversial spying operations.

** CVS CAREMARK CORP, Friday close $70.06

The company said on Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services lifted sanctions it had imposed earlier this year on a CVS Medicare drug plan aimed at seniors, allowing the company to resume enrolling members in 2014. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)

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