December 30, 2013 / 2:12 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-Cooper Tire, Vanguard, Mondelez, Cubist, Vitran

(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 were little changed, in the wake of the best two-week advance for the S&P 500 in five months, and ahead of data on the housing market. S&P 500 futures rose 1.2 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 13 points and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.5 points.

** SANOFI SA, Friday close $52.8

The French drugmaker’s Lemtrada multiple sclerosis treatment has failed to win approval from regulators in the United States, dealing a setback to a drug which was at the heart of Sanofi’s $20 billion takeover of U.S. biotech firm Genzyme. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration rejected Lemtrada for launch in the world’s biggest drug market on the grounds that Genzyme had not shown its benefits outweighed its “serious adverse effects,” the company said on Monday.

** COCA-COLA CO, Friday close $40.66, -100.00 pct premarket

The beverage maker’s shares could see steep upside next year, following an extended period of relative underperformance compared with major indexes, Barron’s wrote on Sunday. The financial publication also said Coca-Cola stands to benefit from a growing global middle class, which it estimated could result in a doubling of soft drink sales over the next 10 to 15 years.

** VANGUARD NATURAL RESOURCES LLC, Friday close $29.17, +0.10 pct premarket

The company said it entered into a definitive agreement to buy natural gas and oil properties in the Pinedale and Jonah fields of southwestern Wyoming for $581 million from an unnamed source.

** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, Friday close $29.17, +0.10 pct premarket

The packaged food company has agreed to sell a controlling interest in its SnackWell’s cookie and cracker business to private equity firm Brynwood Partners, the Wall Street Journal reported.

** CUBIST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $67.36, +2.43 pct premarket

The company said U.S. health regulators granted priority review to its antibiotic tedizolid phosphate for the treatment of a type of bacterial skin infection, and set a review date of June 20, 2014.

This status allows for an expedited review process for medicines that are considered potentially significant therapeutic advancements over existing therapies.

** VITRAN CORP INC, Friday close $6.69

The Canadian transport company Transforce Inc said one of its affiliates would acquire shares of smaller rival Vitran, not already owned by the company for $6.50 each, a discount of 3 percent to the stock’s Friday close.

** CROCS INC, Friday close $13.33, +12.90 pct premarket

The shoemaker said Blackstone Group LP is making a $200 million investment that will give the private equity firm a 13 percent stake in it.

** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Friday close $15.67, -100.00 pct premarket

A federal judge on Friday approved the bank’s $39 million settlement of a gender discrimination lawsuit by female brokers over objections that the accord would enshrine bias on Wall Street.

** COOPER TIRE & RUBBER CO, Friday close $22.96, -100.00 pct premarket

The tiremaker said it was not going ahead with a $2.5 billion merger with India’s Apollo Tyres Ltd. Cooper said Apollo notified it that financing for the deal was no longer available.

** SONY CORP, Friday close $17.09

The Japanese electronics company has decided not to sell its lithium-ion battery unit, media reported on Sunday, in a gamble that it can turn the business around with a weak yen and growing demand for smart phone batteries.

** TRINA SOLAR LTD, Friday close $13.15

The Chinese solar company said on Monday it signed a framework agreement with a local government authority to develop a 1 gigawatt power plant project in western China’s Xinjiang region. The plants would be built over four years, starting from early 2014, Trina Solar said.

** RENESOLA LTD, Friday close $3.36

The Chinese solar panel maker signed a memorandum of intent to sell three power projects with a total capacity of 60 megawatts in western China to Jiangsu Akcome Solar Science & Technology Co Ltd. ReneSola did not disclose financial details of the planned transaction and said it does not mean that a final deal has been reached.

** ABBOTT LABORATORIES, Friday close $38.37

Abbot has agreed to pay the United States $5.48 million to resolve allegations that it paid improper kickbacks to induce doctors to use some of its products, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday.

** BIOLASE INC, Friday close $2.6, +18.85 pct premarket

The dental device maker said Canadian health regulators approved its soft-tissue diode laser for marketing in Canada.

** KANDI TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, Friday close $10.34, +16.83 pct premarket

Call buyers stepped into the Chinese electric car maker on Friday, sending up the stock to close 26 percent higher at $10.34. WhatsTrading.com options strategist Frederic Ruffy said the reason for the move was not clear.

** THRESHOLD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.69, +6.61+6.61 pct premarket

The company completed a target enrollment of 620 patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma in a late-stage trial testing its lead drug, triggering a milestone payment of $12.5 million from Germany-based Merck KGaA. Threshold has a global license and co-development agreement with Merck for the cancer drug, TH-302, which includes an option for Threshold to co-market it in the United States.

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