(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) Wall Street was poised to open higher on Friday, setting major stock indexes up for a fifth week of gains, after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years to boost its cooling economy. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.87 percent at 17,848, S&P 500 futures were up 0.85 percent at 2,069.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.77 percent at 4,277.75.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Thursday close $109.82, +2.57 pct premarket
The Chinese e-commerce company wowed the markets on Thursday with its ground-breaking $8 billion debut dollar bond, pricing it at levels in line with and even tighter than some of the world’s best-known companies.
** GAMESTOP CORP, Thursday close $43.87, -9.80 pct premarket
The Video game products retailer posted quarterly revenue and profit well below analysts’ estimates as the delayed release of “Assassin’s Creed Unity,” and flagging videogame software sales more than offset high demand for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
At least four brokerages cut their price targets on the stock by as much as $10.
** SPLUNK INC, Thursday close $64.94, +9.64 pct premarket
The data analytics software maker reported a better-than-expected 48 percent jump in quarterly revenue as it added more customers.
At least 13 brokerages raised their price targets on the stock by as much as $18 to as high as $85. The median price target on the stock is $74.50, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** SOTHEBY‘S, Thursday close $39.23, +8.34 pct premarket
William Ruprecht, the long-serving chief executive of Sotheby‘s, is stepping down, the centuries-old auction house said on Thursday, roughly a year after activist investors including Daniel Loeb began demanding big changes.
** HALLIBURTON CO, Thursday close $49.21, +2.01 pct premarket
** BAKER HUGHES INC, Thursday close $64.41, +1.44 pct premarket
Halliburton’s $35 billion takeover of Baker Hughes will create an oilfield services powerhouse in North Dakota with more than half the cementing market and a leading position in fracking, according to data seen by Reuters.
** ROYAL BANK OF CANADA, Thursday close $73.34, +1.01 pct premarket
The bank said it is shutting down its international client-wealth-management business in the Caribbean, along with some international advisory businesses in Canada and the United States.
** SOLARCITY CORP, Thursday close $53.63, +5.63 pct premarket
The largest U.S. solar panel installer got a contract to install solar power generation and storage units at Wal-Mart Stores Inc locations in up to 36 U.S. states over four years.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Thursday close $189.75, +0.97 pct premarket
The investment banking firm on Thursday took the lead in rejecting allegations by a U.S. Senate subcommittee that Wall Street banks were exploiting physical commodity markets to manipulate prices and gain unfair trading advantages.
** RIO TINTO PLC, Thursday close $45.31, +4.83 pct premarket
** VALE SA, Thursday close $8.69, +7.25 pct premarket
** BHP BILLITON LTD, Thursday close $55.15, +4.24 pct premarket
U.S.-traded stocks of global metals companies were among the most heavily traded in premarket action on China bets. The People’s Bank of China said it was cutting one-year benchmark lending rates by 40 basis points to 5.6 percent.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Thursday close $142.68
** ACTAVIS PLC, Thursday close $258.49, +1.51 pct premarket
** ALLERGAN INC, Thursday close $210.2, +0.40 pct premarket
Valeant said it cut its stake in botox maker Allergan to 0.1 percent from 9.7 percent, three days after Actavis trumped its offer for Allergan.
** SANOFI SA, Thursday close $46.57, +1.63 pct premarket
The pharmaceutical company, which sacked its chief executive three weeks ago, gave a weak sales outlook for its diabetes drugs on Thursday, overshadowing plans to reap more than 30 billion euros ($38 billion) from new medicines.
** CGG SA, Thursday close $9.71
The French oil services firm rebuffed a 1.47- billion euro ($1.84 billion) offer from larger rival Technip . CGG, which was approached by Technip on Nov. 10, said the conditions to pursue a deal were not met.
** DILLARD‘S INC, Thursday close $121.04, -0.45 pct premarket
The department store operator’s shareholder, Marcato Capital Management, recommended spinning off of the company’s real estate assets into a stand-alone real estate investment trust (REIT).
** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Thursday close $1.005, -6.47 pct premarket
The drug developer commenced an offering to sell $50 million of its common stock and $75 million of convertible senior notes due 2021, in concurrent offerings.
** NEW YORK MORTGAGE TRUST INC, Thursday close $8.18, -4.89 pct premarket
The real estate investment trust offered 15 million common shares, representing about 17 percent of the company’s total outstanding shares as of Nov. 3.
** IAC/INTERACTIVECORP, Thursday close $65.08, +0.52 pct premarket
Television streaming service Aereo Inc filed for bankruptcy protection after a U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the company’s business model violated copyright laws.
Aereo, in which Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp has a 23.30 percent stake, said in a Chapter 11 filing late on Thursday it would sell its assets or reorganize.
** HERTZ GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC, Thursday close $22.75, +1.76 pct premarket
The U.S. car rental company named John Tague as chief executive, overlooking a candidate put forward by activist investor Jana Partners.
** HIBBETT SPORTS INC, Thursday close $45.93, +6.68 pct premarket
The sporting goods retailer raised its fiscal 2015 profit forecast. The company’s third-quarter profit beat analysts’ average estimate, helped by better demand for goods in the back-to-school season.
** CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG, Thursday close $26.18, -0.27 pct premarket
The Swiss bank is scheduled to be sentenced for its role in helping Americans dodge taxes. The bank entered a guilty plea in May and agreed to pay $2.6 billion to resolve charges that it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes.
** MIDDLEBY CORP, Thursday close $92.83
The maker of high-end kitchen appliances for both professional and home cooks has become a new favorite of fund managers as it benefits from changing American dining habits.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Thursday close $32.13, +1.12 pct premarket
In the first lawsuit brought by a state against the automaker over recalls relating to a defective ignition switch, Arizona has accused the company of putting the public at risk by concealing safety issues and delaying the recalls.
** PETSMART INC, Thursday close $78.13
Hedge fund Jana Partners LLC has lined up five executives who are willing to serve as directors on the pet food retailer’s board if the activist hedge fund is not satisfied with the outcome of the pet food retailer’s strategic review, the fund said in a filing on Thursday.
** SYSCO CORP, Thursday close $39.11, +1.00 pct premarket
** BLACKSTONE GROUP, Thursday close $32.86, +1.19 pct premarket
** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, Thursday close $26.85, +0.78 pct premarket
Sysco, the biggest U.S. food distributor, is in advanced talks to sell some assets to a food company owned by alternative asset manager Blackstone in order to win regulatory approval for its acquisition of US Foods Inc, the New York Post reported, citing sources.
Also, Blackstone said it will buy residential assets in Japan from General Electric Co’s property unit in a deal worth more than 190 billion yen ($1.6 billion), Japan’s largest property deal this year.
** GAP INC, Thursday close $40.14, -3.01 pct premarket
The apparel retailer cut its full-year earnings forecast as sales at the Gap brand continued to fall and demand for the cheaper Old Navy clothing slowed.
** WYNN RESORTS LTD, Thursday close $177.85, +1.27 pct premarket
The casino operator said it was not aware of any investigation after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is being probed by U.S. federal authorities for possible violation of money-laundering laws.
** DELTA AIR LINES INC, Thursday close $43.96, +0.09 pct premarket
Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it won a $5 billion contract to supply aero engines to power 50 new Airbus planes ordered by Delta Air Lines.
** BOEING CO, Thursday close $131.7, +0.81 pct premarket
The airplane maker has no plans to extend the range of its forthcoming 737 MAX 9 jetliner in response to Airbus Group’s move to offer a long-range version of its competing A321 aircraft, a senior Boeing executive said on Thursday.
** FMC CORP, Thursday close $55.97
The diversified chemical company said on Thursday it has tapped Bank of America and Goldman Sachs Group to help with the sale of its alkali chemicals unit, which sources said could fetch around $1.5 billion.
** DUPONT AND CO, Thursday close $71.43, +1.06 pct premarket
Four workers killed at the chemicals company’s chemical plant in Texas on Saturday did not have access to safety equipment like respirators when there was a deadly release of a hazardous chemical, an attorney for one victim’s family said on Thursday.
** CSX CORP, Thursday close $37.29, +1.77 pct premarket
The railroad operator warned customers on Thursday that a massive snowstorm in Buffalo, New York, may cause delays of up to 48 hours on deliveries along its main crude oil by rail route.
** AMERICAN TOWER CORP, Thursday close $100.71
Italian telecommunications company Telecom Italia will likely sell the mobile phone towers of its Brazilian unit to the operator of wireless and broadcast communications sites for almost the full targeted amount of 900 million euros ($1.1 billion), two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
** AT&T INC, Thursday close $35.28, +0.91 pct premarket
The telecommunications company will pay $52 million in civil penalties and environmental compliance as part of a settlement with California over illegal dumping of hazardous waste but won’t be required to clean up the resulting contamination, state officials said on Thursday.
** CBS CORP, Thursday close $53.67, +0.61 pct premarket
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Thursday close $72.22, +2.77 pct premarket
Television network CBS Corp and satellite TV company DISH Network dodged a blackout of CBS TV shows and sporting events as the two sides agreed to a “short” extension of the deadline in order to hash out the details of a new contract.
** AUTODESK INC, Thursday close $58.41, +4.09 pct premarket
The software corporation reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, as the maker of computer-aided design software benefits from its switch to a cloud-based subscription model.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Thursday close $48.7, +0.33 pct premarket
** INTEL CORP, Thursday close $35.95, -0.03 pct premarket
** FACEBOOK INC, Thursday close $73.6, +1.02 pct premarket
President Barack Obama plans to make life a little easier for some foreign tech workers, but Silicon Valley representatives are disappointed his immigration rule changes will not satisfy longstanding demands for more visas and faster green cards.
Tech companies from Microsoft to Intel have complained about being unable to find enough highly skilled employees and want Washington to increase the availability of visas for programmers, engineers and other specialized foreign professionals.
Intel, helped by a stabilizing personal computer market, also gave a revenue outlook for 2015 that was above Wall Street’s expectations and also raised its dividend.
** MARVELL TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD, Thursday close $13.3, +3.83 pct premarket
The chipmaker forecast lower-than-expected revenue for the current quarter as weak demand for its chips used in third-generation mobile communication offset a rise in sales of its more profitable 4G LTE chips.
** LIBERTY GLOBAL PLC, Thursday close $46.08
Europe’s biggest cable operator plans to make “small, selective” acquisitions for content which help it make money from its core business of selling high-speed broadband and TV services, its finance chief said on Thursday.
** GOOGLE INC, Thursday close $543.76, +0.93 pct premarket
The search engine company has agreed to settle litigation with patent consortium Rockstar, though terms of the deal were not disclosed in a court filing made public this week.
Rockstar, which counts Apple Inc as an investor, outbid Google and paid $4.5 billion in 2011 for thousands of former Nortel Network Corp patents as the networking products supplier went bankrupt. (Compiled by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore; Edited by Maju Samuel)