(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) U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Friday, after the Federal Reserve's most recent policy statement sparked the best two-day run for the benchmark S&P 500 in three years.
Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.16 percent at 17,814, S&P 500 futures were up 0.08 percent at 2,066.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.18 percent at 4,272.75.
** MECHEL OAO, Thursday close $0.5291, +41.75 pct premarket
The Eurasian Development Bank allowed the Russian miner to postpone payments for its 2.1-billion-rouble loan until 2016 from 2014-2015.
** ARATANA THERAPEUTICS INC, Thursday close $13.07, +37.72 pct premarket
The pet drugmaker said dogs with joint pains that took its drug showed improvement compared with those given a placebo.
** IMMUNOGEN INC, Thursday close $10.85, -44.61 pct premarket
Roche said its new drug Kadcyla failed to demonstrate an added benefit in breast cancer. Immunogen contributes technology to Kadcyla.
** CERUS CORP, Thursday close $6.16, +13.31 pct premarket
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a device developed by Cerus to reduce the risk of infections in blood platelets transmitted during transfusions.
The approval came two days after the blood purification and processing device, Intercept, was approved for use for blood plasma transfusions.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Thursday close $10.07, -9.04 pct premarket
The Canadian smartphone maker reported a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter revenue. Hardware sales in the quarter were weaker than expected as production was limited and the company could only fulfill all device orders early in the fourth quarter, CEO John Chen said.
** CARMAX INC, Thursday close $60.53, +9.45 pct premarket
The largest used-car seller in the United States, reported a 16 percent rise in quarterly revenue as easier availability of credit helped it sell more pre-owned vehicles at higher prices.
** MOL GLOBAL INC, Thursday close $2.71, +11.44 pct premarket
The Malaysian online payment company said it started buying back shares under the $15 million repurchase program it had announced on Dec. 1.
** RED HAT INC, Thursday close $61.5, +11.14 pct premarket
The world’s largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system, raised its profit forecast for the full year after reporting quarterly revenue and profit above market expectations, boosted by strong growth in subscriptions.
** TEEKAY TANKERS LTD, Thursday close $5.4, -13.89 pct premarket
The shipping company is offering 20 mln shares, which, sources say, are being marketed at $4.95-$5.10 each, a 5.6 pct-8.3 pct discount to Thursday’s close.
UBS downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy”, expecting spot rates to fall. “At these spot rate highs, some of which are seasonal in nature, we believe the stock might lose some momentum as rates unwind toward normal levels,” analysts wrote in a note.
** NIKE INC, Thursday close $97.08, -1.72 pct premarket
The world’s largest sportswear maker’s futures orders rose at its slowest pace in four quarters, indicating weakening demand for its products in emerging markets and western Europe.
** XEROX CORP, Thursday close $13.89, +1.15 pct premarket
The company agreed to sell its information technology outsourcing arm to French IT services firm Atos SE for $1.05 billion, divesting a slower-growing unit to focus on building up its business process outsourcing and document outsourcing operations.
** SEADRILL LTD, Thursday close $12.36, -5.10 pct premarket
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the Norway-based offshore driller’s stock to “sell” and added it to the ‘conviction list’.
The brokerage said there was still significant balance sheet risk due to high financing needs for 2015-16 and beyond, as well as limited refinancing option with the possibility of a higher cost of debt due to the challenging environment.
Goldman ran a scenario analysis with Brent crude priced at $70 per barrel and found Seadrill would be in breach of its debt covenant in 2016, which could trigger an equity issue.
** NOVOGEN LTD, Thursday close $2.73, -5.16 pct premarket
The Australian drug developer said it would sell about 46.9 mln shares at A$0.125 each, a 10.7 pct discount to Thursday’s close, to U.S. institutional investors for gross proceeds of about A$5.85 million.
The company on Friday raised the amount of the private placement, two days after saying it would raise A$4.1 million through a share sale.
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, Thursday close $6.29, +9.38 pct premarket
European regulators recommended the approval of the drugmaker’s diet pill, which could become the first prescription medicine for obesity to be approved in the European Union in nearly a decade.
** ALLY FINANCIAL INC, Thursday close $22.75, +3.96 pct premarket
The U.S. Treasury Department will sell its remaining 54.9 million shares of the auto lender, which IFR reports is being marketed at $22.75-$23.25 each versus Thursday’s close of $22.75. The sale will allow Ally to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Ally also got a subpoena from the U.S. DOJ for information related to its subprime automotive finance lending practices.
** AMERICAN APPAREL INC, Thursday close $1, +12.00 pct premarket
The clothing manufacturer has been approached by private equity firm Irving Place Capital for a possible takeover, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
The retailer received an expression of interest from Irving Place in the last couple of weeks, the Journal said. The daily reported Irving Place then raised its price range to $1.30 to $1.40 per share after an initial approach was rebuffed because of the low price. The board is yet to respond. (Compiled by Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)