(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for more market insights, including options activity, ; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index e-mini futures were little changed on Wednesday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.01 percent at 17,138, S&P 500 futures were up 0.04 percent at 2,000.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.02 percent at 4,065.
** ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC, Tuesday close $65.17, +3.59 pct premarket
** AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS, Tuesday close $21.52, +42.52 pct premarket
** QLT INC, Tuesday close $6.2, -14.84 pct premarket
Auxilium adopted a poison pill with a 15 percent trigger, a day after an unsolicited $2.2 billion buyout offer from Endo . Poison pills, or shareholder rights plans, are designed to stop hostile takeover attempts by triggering the issuance of new shares, which dilutes the holdings of all investors if any one exceeds a set threshold.
Auxilium said its board would review Endo’s proposal, but it would not modify or withdraw its bid for Canadian eye drug maker QLT.
** UNITED STATES STEEL CORP, Tuesday close $41.41, +11.93 pct premarket
The steelmaker said its Canadian arm would apply for relief from creditors under Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and said it would drop plans to expand two of its facilities. The company said its Canadian operations, which have lost about $2.4 billion over the past five years, will also be dropped from its financial statements.
Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the company’s stock to $58 from $47.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, Tuesday close $39.34, -15.61 pct premarket
The cloud management services provider said it would not sell itself. The company also named President Taylor Rhodes as chief executive, replacing Graham Weston, who co-founded Rackspace. Weston will become the non-executive chairman.
** ADOBE SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $70.73, -4.02 pct premarket
The Photoshop maker forecast disappointing revenue for this quarter and reported lower quarterly sales at its digital media business, which includes the Creative Cloud software suite.
** GENERAL MILLS INC, Tuesday close $53.18, -2.24 pct premarket
The maker of Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker cake mixes reported a 25 percent fall in quarterly profit as sales fell for the fourth straight quarter and merchandising costs rose.
** LENNAR CORP, Tuesday close $39.13, +3.02 pct premarket
** D.R. HORTON INC, Tuesday close $21.6, +1.11 pct premarket
** D.R. HORTON INC, Tuesday close $21.6, +1.11 pct premarket
** TOLL BROTHERS INC, Tuesday close $33.11, +1.81 pct premarket
** KB HOME, Tuesday close $16.74, +1.67 pct premarket
Second largest U.S. homebuilder Lennar reported a 47 percent rise in quarterly profit as it sold more homes at higher prices, and said orders rose 23 percent.
Shares of other U.S. homebuilders, D.R. Horton, Toll Brothers and KB Home, also rose after the news.
** CTI BIOPHARMA CORP, Tuesday close $2.51, +11.55 pct premarket
The company entered into a $133.5 million licensing deal with Servier to develop and market its blood cancer drug, Pixuvri. As part of the deal, CTi will receive upfront payment of about $18.1 million.
** GILEAD SCIENCES INC, Tuesday close $104.76, -0.82 pct premarket
Over the last several months, there has been a ‘plateau and downward trend’ in the use of the company’s controversial $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment, Sovaldi, a CVS Health Corp analysis showed. The study, encompassing data from May through August, suggests that another surge of patients will begin therapy when newer treatments of similar effectiveness and shorter duration are introduced later in the year.
Separately, Gilead said its experimental drug did not significantly improve how long patients with a type of pancreatic cancer lived without the disease worsening.
** FEDEX CORP, Tuesday close $154.66, +2.84 pct premarket
** UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC, Tuesday close $97.96, +0.91 pct premarket
World’s No. 2 package delivery company Fedex reported a 24 percent rise in quarterly profit as it benefited from higher volumes in both its express and ground businesses.
Shares of larger rival United Parcel also rose after the news.
** SONY CORP, Tuesday close $20.25, -8.89 pct premarket
The company sharply deepened its net loss estimate on Wednesday and said it would not pay a dividend this fiscal year for the first time since it listed in 1958 after it was hit by a massive impairment charge for its struggling smartphone division.
** DUPONT E I DE NEMOURS & CO, Tuesday close $65.83, +3.34 pct premarket
Activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has called for a break up of DuPont, arguing that the diversified chemicals company’s overly complex and bloated corporate structure overburdens its seven business lines, the Wall Street Journal reported.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $100.86, +0.20 pct premarket
Bigger is better and Apple has finally realized that, giving iPhone users a product that may be low on novelty but high on improvements, reviewers wrote. Most reviewers say that the iPhone 6 is the best smartphone available or “ever made”, while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus has been described as a “phablet” that will give competition to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s Galaxy S line of ‘big’ Android phones.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Tuesday close $46.76, -0.98 pct premarket
The company announced on Tuesday the smallest percentage increase in its quarterly dividend since 2009 and appointed new directors to replace two board members who decided not to seek re-election. The increase, 11 percent to 31 cents per share, is in line with the software company’s revenue growth last fiscal year but half of last year’s 22 percent hike.
** IAC/INTERACTIVE CORP, Tuesday close $69.44
** PERION NETWORK, Tuesday close $6.34, +6.47 pct premarket
New York-based media and Internet company IAC/Interactive has offered to buy Perion Network, an Israeli financial news website said on Wednesday. Israel’s Calcalist, quoting unnamed market sources, said that IAC has offered more than $500 million for Perion, whose technology helps developers distribute apps and make money off them through advertising.
** AT&T INC, Tuesday close $34.95, +0.29 pct premarket
The company said it was “intrigued” by Latin America and especially Mexico and that it would not rule out an opportunistic deal there even as it seeks to complete its $48.5 billion planned takeover of DirecTV. AT&T is one of several potential buyers Carlos Slim’s America Movil has contacted as it tries to sell a chunk of assets, according to a source familiar with the situation.
** YAHOO INC, Tuesday close $42.71, -0.68 pct premarket
Investors looking to hedge their bets or speculate on the direction of Alibaba Group’s IPO-BABA.N stock after its expected public sale of shares on Friday, will be able to trade its options in two weeks, as U.S. options exchanges are expected to list contracts on the company. The Chinese e-commerce company’s options will be listed on CBOE Holdings Inc and International Securities Exchange Holdings’ options exchanges on Sept. 29, pending the company’s public sale of shares this week, the exchanges said on Tuesday. Yahoo owns 23 percent stake in Alibaba.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $127.32, +0.68 pct premarket
NASA will partner with the company and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated “space taxis” to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on Russia for rides, officials said on Tuesday.
** HESS CORP, Tuesday close $99.18
Oil and gas explorer Petroceltic said it would resume drilling in Iraqi Kurdistan together with partner Hess in early October, after operations were suspended last month at one of its wells due to security risks in the region.
** CHEVRON CORP, Tuesday close $124.96
The company will continue to extract oil and natural gas from the North Sea regardless of whether Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom after a referendum, Chief Executive John Watson said on Tuesday.
** JD.COM INC, Tuesday close $27.8, +0.07 pct premarket
The Chinese e-commerce business and Macquarie Capital have led a $50 million round of investment into online food delivery operator Daojia, as China’s e-commerce firms increasingly look to extend their reach offline.
** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $35.54
Offering an array of hot and cold single-serve drinks is central to the growth strategy of Mondelez’s European coffee business, which will soon merge with D.E Master Blenders 1753. With regulatory approval expected in coming months, the merged business, to be called Jacobs Douwe Egberts, will continue to invest heavily in a single-serve coffee business able to compete better with Nestle’s market-leading brands Nespresso and Dolce Gusto, said Roland Weening, president of coffee for Mondelez Europe.
** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Tuesday close $155.87, +1.37 pct premarket
Some of the company’s top 20 investors are threatening to vote down a proposed deal to buy a unit of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA, and are pressing Salix to consider selling itself instead, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** SANOFI SA, Tuesday close $56.18, +0.59 pct premarket
The French drugmaker announced on Wednesday a partnership with U.S.-based MyoKardia to develop therapies for patients with genetic heart diseases.
** BUCKEYE PARTNERS, Tuesday close $78.51
The Houston-based logistic firm has spent more than $3.5 billion buying assets since 2010, transforming itself from a quiet regional pipeline utility into an emerging energy powerhouse. But the acquisition that may best symbolize its evolution is one the company didn’t tout to investors this summer: a Washington lobbyist. (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)