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Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.97 percent at 17,676, S&P 500 futures were up 0.93 percent at 2,038.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.99 percent at 4,192.5.
** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC, Wednesday close $78.86
The discount retailer, the target of two rival U.S. dollar store chains, reported a 47 percent drop in quarterly profit as margins fell due to higher discounting.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $145.12
Canada's Valeant will provide its forecast for 2015, following its failed attempt to take over Botox maker Allergan Inc late last year. Of particular interest will be whether Valeant eases up its efforts to become a Top 5 pharma company by the end of 2016, a target that requires it to roughly triple its $46 billion market cap.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $35.84, +0.86 pct premarket
The carmaker's luxury Cadillac brand has cut the price most customers will pay for its 2015 CTS to counter slumping demand in the United States for the marquee sedan.
** NOVARTIS AG, Wednesday close $92.07, +2.10 pct premarket
The Swiss pharma group said it will submit regulatory applications in the United States for two treatments against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease after late-stage clinical studies yielded good results.
** H&R BLOCK INC, Wednesday close $32.56, +0.58 pct premarket
The tax preparer said it expects a boost from new U.S. tax forms required under President Barack Obama's healthcare law and from new clients seeking the company's help, Chief Executive Officer Bill Cobb told Reuters on Wednesday.
** SANCHEZ ENERGY CORP, Wednesday close $7.97
The oil producer operating in Texas and Mississippi, cut its 2015 capital budget on Wednesday by 60 percent, citing a recent drop in crude oil prices.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, Wednesday close $57.65
The Canadian yoga wear maker on Wednesday named Stuart Haselden chief financial officer, replacing long-time executive John Currie who announced in June his plan to retire by the end of the fiscal year.
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Wednesday close $68.46
The No. 2 U.S. satellite TV company is not averse to buying traditional TV ads to woo young viewers away from their cable or satellite subscriptions to its less costly Sling TV streaming service.
** HALOZYME THERAPEUTICS INC, Wednesday close $12.52, +0.72 pct premarket
The drugmaker believes it has a multibillion-dollar cancer drug on its hands. The drug, PEGPH20, being tested against pancreatic cancer, has the potential to help treat several other types of solid tumor cancers, its chief executive said in an interview.
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $144.32
The warehouse club operator's December sales rose 5 percent to $12.12 billion. Comparable sales for the month was up 3 percent, while comparable sales, excluding fuel was up 8 percent.
** PORTUGAL TELECOM SGPS SA, Wednesday close $0.8601, -3.49 pct premarket
Portugal Telecom has said next week's shareholder meeting to approve the sale of its former assets by merger partner Oi will take place as planned, quashing media speculation the vote might be postponed and boosting its shares.
** AT&T INC, Wednesday close $33.17, +0.69 pct premarket
The telecom company said it would introduce a rollover data plan for some of its customers, less than a month after smaller rival T-Mobile US Inc launched its own plan.
** STATOIL ASA, Wednesday close $16.74, +1.79 pct premarket
The Norwegian oil and gas producer will continue to make dividend payments a top priority even though oil prices have fallen more steeply than it expected, forcing it to be selective over projects, its acting CEO said.
** BIND THERAPEUTICS INC, Wednesday close $5.15, +54.17 pct premarket
The drug developer said it enrolled its first patient in a mid-stage trial on lung cancer drug BIND-014. The Trial will focus on lung cancer patients with KRAS mutant, who have historically been unresponsive to standard treatment. Bind also attained milestone as part of agreement with Pfizer Inc
** ZUMIEZ INC, Wednesday close $40.28, +2.4 pct after market
The sports apparel, footwear and equipment retailer raised its sales and profit forecast for the fourth quarter due to higher-than-expected sales and better product margins.
** INSULET CORP, Wednesday close $44.53, -7.9 pct after market
The medical device maker slashed its fourth-quarter revenue estimate, citing delays in shipments of its non-insulin drug delivery products from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015.
The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue of $71 million-$73 million, down from its previous forecast of $76 million-$81 million.
** BIODEL INC, Wednesday close $1.45, +40.69 pct premarket
The drug developer's preliminary mid-stage trial results showed that its experimental insulin drug may be more effective than Eli Lilly and Co therapies in controlling glucose in patients when dosed immediately before breakfast.
** NEPHROGENEX INC, Wednesday close $9.21, +18.35 pct premarket
The kidney disease drug developer said European Medicines Agency indicated current late-stage study of its drug to treat diabetic nephropathy could be adequate to support a marketing application.
** RESOURCES CONNECTION INC, Wednesday close $16.57, +5.5 pct after market
The consulting firm reported a better-than-expected profit for the second quarter ending Nov. 29, as it earned more money from services such as accounting and corporate advisory. The company's revenue also beat average analyst estimate.
** AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES INC, Wednesday close $54, -2 pct after market
The property and casualty insurer said it will sell 3 million common shares in a public offering. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen 55.5 pct over the last year.
** ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $187.93, -5 pct after market
The drug developer said its experimental drug, eculizumab, did not meet main goal in a mid-stage study evaluating it for preventing antibody mediated rejection - an infection in the transplanted organs.
An FDA approval was highly unlikely for the drug, Jefferies & Co analysts said and cut their target price on the stock to $161 from $170, rating it "hold".
** ULTRAGENYX PHARMACEUTICAL INC, Wednesday close $48.65, +7 pct after market
Canaccord Genuity started coverage of the company's stock with a "buy" rating and a $60 target price.
** JANUS CAPITAL GROUP INC, Wednesday close $16.31, -1 pct after market
More than 60 percent of the roughly $1.1 billion raised by Bill Gross for Janus Capital came from a Morgan Stanley wealth management office in California, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Bill Gross left Pimco to join Janus Capital in September.
** WAYFAIR INC, Wednesday close $22.34, +3 pct after market
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co on Wednesday started coverage of the online home-furnishing retailer's stock with a "hold" rating. "As one of the leading pure play eCommerce platforms, operating in the sizable home goods product category, Wayfair stands to benefit from the continued migration of home goods online," analysts said.
** CHINA INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INC, Wednesday close $3.79, +8.2 pct after market
PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd designated the Chinese IT services provider as an authorized distributor of its smart education terminals, which will also use China Information's education software. (Compiled by Lehar Maan)