MARKET PULSE-Google, LinkedIn, Herbalife, Vertex, Merck
(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 on Friday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.02 percent at 16,491, S&P 500 futures were up 0.05 percent at 1,878.7 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.10 percent at 3,590.5.
** PFIZER INC, Thursday close $31.15 AstraZeneca's board said it had rejected an improved $106 billion takeover offer from the U.S. drug maker, saying the bid undervalued the firm.
** MERCK & CO INC, Thursday close $59.62
German drugmaker Bayer <AG BAYGn.DE> is nearing an agreement to buy Merck's consumer healthcare unit, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that could value the business at around $14 billion.
** VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Thursday close $68.95, +2.3 pct after market
The drug maker on Thursday said a combination of its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco and an experimental compound was shown to improve lung function in a mid-stage trial.