(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 declined on Monday as investors braced for a quarterly earnings season that picks up steam this week and which has raised some red flags about valuations. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.10 percent at 16,365, S&P 500 futures were down 0.30 percent at 1,832.2 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.14 percent at 3,556.5.
** ENPRO INDUSTRIES INC, Friday close $59.21, +31.73 pct premarket
The maker of sealing products will not have to set aside more money than it had expected to meet current and future claims related to a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, according to a court ruling. A bankruptcy court in North Carolina said on Friday $125 million would be enough to meet the claims against the company.
KeyBanc Capital Markets on Monday raised the target price on the stock to $85 from $65.
** ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $66.21, +29.44 pct premarket
French drugmaker Sanofi will buy a 12 percent stake in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals for $700 million and deepen their partnership to develop drugs for rare genetic diseases.
** BEAM INC, Friday close $66.97, +25.28 pct premarket
Suntory Holdings Ltd said it plans to buy Beam for $16 billion, including debt, making the Japanese company the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks. Beam’s brands include Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Sauza, Canadian Club and Courvoisier.
** SODASTREAM INTERNATIONAL LTD, Friday close $49.89, -16.02 pct premarket
The Israeli company, which manufactures soda makers, estimated full-year revenue below analyst’s expectations, hurt by a challenging holiday season selling in the United States. The company said it expected 2013 revenue of about $562.0 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of $563.8 million.
** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, Friday close $23.54, +7 pct premarket
Shareholder Elliott Management Corp urged the network equipment maker to buy back shares, streamline its product line and cut costs to boost shareholder value.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, Friday close $59.6, -13.07 pct premarket
The upscale yogawear retailer cut its forecast for the fourth quarter due to weak sales in January. The company expects net revenue to range between $513 million and $518 million for the quarter ending Feb. 2, down from $535 million to $540 million earlier.
** THE WENDY‘S CO, Friday close $8.44, +6.40 pct premarket
The second-largest U.S. hamburger chain estimated adjusted quarterly earnings above analysts’ expectations, as expenses fell due to franchising many company-owned outlets.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, Friday close $9.88, +30.16 pct premarket
The Canadian biopharmaceutical company said it struck a deal with Monsanto Co, allowing the world’s largest seed company to use its technology for agricultural applications. Tekmira said the potential value of the deal could reach up to $86.2 million and expects to receive a near-term payment of $16.5 million.
** TWITTER INC, Friday close $57, +5.25 pct premarket
Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the microblogging website’s stock to $65 from $46, citing a “significant acceleration in the pace of Twitter’s product innovation” that could help convert website traffic into revenue.
** CHINA HYDROELECTRIC CORP, Friday close $2.73, +20.88 pct premarket
The Chinese hydroelectric power company said it would be taken private in a $189.6 million deal. The $3.51 per American Depository Share offer from equity firm CPT Wyndham Holdings Ltd represents a 28 percent premium to China Hydroelectric’s Friday close.
** CELL THERAPEUTICS INC Friday close $2.66, +12.78 pct premarket
The company said it ended an agreement with Novartis that had given the Swiss company an option to buy developing rights to two of its cancer drugs. Cell Therapeutics’ Chief Executive James Bianco said the company now had the flexibility to manage the development of the drugs, Opaxio and Pixuvri.
** CITIGROUP INC, Friday close $54.72, -0.22 pct premarket
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Friday close $58.49, +0.15 pct premarket
** WELLS FARGO & CO, Friday close $45.94
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Friday close $16.77, +0.12 pct premarket
Global banking regulators agreed on Sunday to ease the way a new rule, meant to rein in risky balance sheets from 2018, is compiled to try to avoid crimping financing for the world’s economy.
** UBS AG, Friday close $20.28, +1.82 pct premarket
UBS is not considering spinning off its investment bank, its chief executive Sergio Ermotti said on Monday, rebuffing speculation last week it may consider such a move to quieten demands for it to put aside more capital.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Friday close $40.03, +0.42 pct premarket
the U.S. automaker’s chief financial officer said on Sunday that the company is close to reintroducing a common stock dividend, but declined to provide any details on timing. GM last paid a dividend on its common stock in May 2008.
** FOSTER WHEELER AG, Friday close $31.46, +2.19 pct premarket
British engineering firm Amec said it had provisionally agreed to buy Foster Wheeler in a cash and share deal that values the Swiss-based engineer at 1.9 billion pounds ($3.13 billion).
** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $2, -7.50 pct premarket
The drug maker said its Chief Executive would leave and it would cut its workforce by about 45 percent, as it moves its focus away from drug discovery to completing the studies of its drugs in late-stage development.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, Friday close $35.41, +2.37 pct premarket
The Chinese solar company said it would explore options for its solar power plant business, including a spinoff or a deal. JinkoSolar’s project business is expected to exceed 500 megawatt of installed capacity by the end of 2014.
** MERCK & CO INC, Friday close $49.88, +0.82 pct premarket
The drug maker’s experimental blood clot-preventing drug vorapaxar should be approved based on “robustly positive” clinical trial results, according to a preliminary review of the data by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
** LEGG MASON INC, Friday close $43.85, +2.62 pct premarket
Legg Mason estimated third-quarter earnings above analysts’ expectations as assets under management grew by about $30 billion from the same quarter the year before.
** SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE INC, Friday close $82.01, -4.89 pct premarket
** DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC, Friday close $84.02
Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks abandoned talks for a merger last week, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. The discussions did not go beyond the early, exploratory stage and Discovery had not made a formal offer for Scripps, the newspaper reported.
** RED HAT INC, $56.81, +3.77 pct premarket
Brokerage Morgan Stanley raised the stock of the world’s largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system to “overweight” from “equal weight”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** BLACKBERRY LTD ; Friday close $8.76, -2.85 pct premarket
Analysts at Oppenheimer downgraded the struggling Canadian smartphone maker’s stock to “underperform” from “perform”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** MEN‘S WEARHOUSE INC, Friday close $51.08
** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, Friday close $56.01
Men’s Wearhouse’s largest shareholder, Eminence Capital LLC, plans to support the retailer’s $1.61 billion offer for rival Jos. A. Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.
** TARGET CORP, Friday close $62.62, +0.13 pct premarket
The retailer plans to make “significant changes” in light of the data breach over the holiday shopping season when hackers stole personal information of millions of customers, the U.S. retailer’s chief executive said in an interview to CNBC.
** BLACKROCK INC, Friday close $314.94
BlackRock said on Friday that Italy’s market regulator has started civil proceedings against one of its fund managers alleging that he used inside information to sell shares in Saipem just before the oil services firm issued a profit warning in 2013.
** ACE Ltd, Friday close $98.67, -0.56 pct premarket
Ace has agreed to buy a 60.9 percent stake in Thailand’s Siam Commercial Samaggi Insurance PCL for about $185 million as foreign insurers step up their presence in underdeveloped Southeast Asian insurance markets.
** BON-TON STORES INC, Friday close $15.5, -17.23 pct after market
The department store operator said on Friday it could report a loss for the full year as extreme cold weather in parts of the United States led to a slowdown in sales in December.
** LEUCADIA NATIONAL CORP, Friday close $15.5, -5.57 pct after market
A former Jefferies Group Inc managing director accused of cheating clients and the government on mortgage securities after the 2008 financial crisis failed to persuade a federal judge to keep jurors from being told that “taxpayers” were victims of his alleged fraud. Jefferies is now part of Leucadia National. Neither company was charged.
** ACCENTURE PLC, Friday close $83.2, -0.06 pct premarket
** CGI GROUP , Friday close $31.58
Accenture has been chosen to replace CGI Federal as the lead contractor for the Obamacare enrollment website, which failed to work when it launched in October for millions of Americans shopping for health insurance, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Saturday. CGI Federal, a subsidiary of CGI Group, built the website, HealthCare.gov, which was plagued by error messages and slow speeds for weeks after the launch. The glitches created a political crisis for President Barack Obama, threatening the roll-out of his signature healthcare law and emboldening Republican foes to call for its repeal.
** WALT DISNEY CO, Friday close $75.39
** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $53.54
** TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC, Friday close $33.46
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a closely watched appeal filed by the four major broadcasters against an online television service, Aereo Inc, backed by media mogul Barry Diller that they claim steals copyright TV content. Walt Disney’s ABC network, CBS Broadcasting Inc, Comcast Corp’s CMCSA.O NBCUniversal and Twenty-First Century Fox appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April that denied their request to shut Aereo down while litigation moves forward. (Compiled by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)