April 14, 2014 / 12:32 PM / in 3 years

MARKET PULSE-Lexicon Pharma, WebMD, Citigroup, JA Solar

(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)

April 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, following a large selloff last session, with earnings results from Citigroup lifting sentiment while traders kept tabs on the possible escalation of hostilities in Ukraine. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.18 percent at 15,952, S&P 500 futures were up 0.45 percent at 1,819.8 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.36 percent at 3,456.5.

** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $1.59, +16.98 pct premarket

The company said its experimental drug to treat diabetes met the main goal of reducing the use of insulin at meal times in a mid-stage study on patients with type 1 diabetes.

** WEBMD HEALTH CORP, Friday close $37.67, +10.83 pct premarket

The health information provider said it expected its quarterly results to top its earlier forecast due to an improvement in sales.

** CITIGROUP INC, Friday close $45.68, +3.24 pct premarket

Citigroup Inc’s quarterly net profit rose 4 percent as a smaller loss on its troubled assets made up for a drop in revenue and profit from its core trading and lending businesses.

** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, Friday close $9.32, +6.97 pct premarket

The Chinese solar company estimated total shipments in the first quarter ended March 31 to exceed 620 megawatts (MW), higher than its previous estimate of 580-610 MW. (r.reuters.com/dyf58v)

** TRINA SOLAR LTD, Friday close $11.56, -2.94 pct premarket

The Chinese solar company estimated it shipped lower-than-expected solar modules in the first quarter due to a fall in shipments to the EU ahead of an agreement on a new minimum import price.

** WELLS FARGO & CO, Friday close $48.08

The biggest U.S. mortgage lender reported a higher-than-expected 14 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, as a series of cost cuts and one-time gains helped the bank offset the lowest volume of home loans it made in five and a half years. [ID: nL2N0N30PA]

UBS Investment Research raised the target price on the stock to $50 from $46.50, while Barclays Capital raised its target price to $57 from $52.

Rating agency Fitch said it views the bank’s first quarter earnings “favorably” and “as consistent with WFC’s credit profile, with ratings that remain among the highest in the world.”

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Friday close $7.28, +1.51 pct premarket

The smartphone maker said it plans to release security updates for messaging software for Android and iOS devices by Friday to address vulnerabilities in programs related to the “Heartbleed” security threat.

** DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC, Friday close $48.46

A group of shareholders has sued the company, accusing it of changing corporate bylaws to try to block investors’ right to vote on a plan to sell or spin off its Red Lobster dining chain, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

** VORNADO REALTY TRUST, Friday close $98.15, +0.5 pct aftermarket

The owner of office buildings and retail properties chiefly in New York and Washington, said it would spin off its shopping center business into a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

** PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL, Friday close $83.14

South Korea’s state health insurer is seeking an initial 53.7 billion won ($51.9 million) from three tobacco companies, including the local units of Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco, to offset treatment costs for diseases linked to smoking.

** PHILLIPS 66, Friday close $76.75, +0.07 pct premarket

The U.S. independent refiner has pulled the sale of its Irish refinery after receiving limited interest since putting it on the block last year, Chief Executive Greg Garland was quoted as saying on Sunday.

** ENCANA CORP, Friday close $22.42

Liquid natural gas supplier Stabilis Energy said it would buy most of the U.S. assets of Encana Natural Gas Inc, a unit of Canada’s Encana Corp, for an undisclosed price. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)

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