(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. stock index futures were higher on Thursday after Beijing's efforts to halt a rout in Chinese stocks finally bore fruit and the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it might hold off on raising interest rates. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.84 percent at 17,588, S&P 500 futures were up 1.01 percent at 2,059.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 1.12 percent at 4,395.
** PEPSICO INC, Wednesday close $95.61, +2.81 pct premarket
The company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue due to strong demand for its snacks and beverages in North America.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $122.57, +1.17 pct premarket
A federal judge has thrown out a $532.9 million award against Apple and ordered a new trial on damages, in a case where a jury found that the iPhone maker’s iTunes software infringed three patents owned by a Texas company.
** WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC, Wednesday close $85.91, +2.72 pct premarket
The drugstore chain, formed by Walgreens’ takeover of Europe’s Alliance Boots in December, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher prescription sales and lower costs.
** MICROSOFT INC, Wednesday close $44.24, +1.15 pct premarket
Microsoft’s future in mobile devices likely hinges on the software maker’s ability to convince developers to create apps for the phone version of Windows 10 after its ill-fated Nokia acquisition helped trigger 7,800 layoffs.
** TWITTER INC, Wednesday close $34.76, +1.04 pct premarket
The company rolled out three new products for its direct response advertising on Wednesday, two months after the company said weak demand for the product had lowered its revenue forecast for the year.
** ALCOA INC, Wednesday close $10.5, +1.05 pct premarket
The metals company reported a quarterly profit that missed expectations due to plunging primary aluminum prices on Wednesday, but revenue topped estimates on an ongoing drive to reduce reliance on the company’s legacy commodity business.
** CONAGRA FOODS INC, Wednesday close $44.65
The maker of Chef Boyardee and Slim Jim snacks has hired Centerview Partners to explore a sale of its private label unit Ralcorp, just two years after it acquired the troubled business with advice from the same investment bank, people familiar with the matter said.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $31.19, +0.93 pct premarket
The company is recalling nearly 200,000 older model Hummer SUVs, mainly in the United States, to fix problems that have led to 42 vehicle fires and three people being burned, the company said on Wednesday.
** POTASH CORP OF SASKATCHEWAN INC, Wednesday close $29.15
K+S finance chief Burkhardt Lohr denied the German potash miner had set 50 euros per share as a minimum it expected suitor Potash Corp of Saskatchewan to offer for the group, according to a newspaper interview.
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, Wednesday close $64.33, +1.24 pct premarket
The British drugmaker struck a further “externalisation” deal on Thursday to help fill its short-term revenue gap by divesting its gastrointestinal drug Entocort for $215 million.
** SANOFI SA, Wednesday close $48.06
** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $509.3, -0.56 pct premarket
French drugmaker Sanofi and U.S. partner Regeneron said the results of a late-stage study of their Praluent injection in Japan showed the drug reduced “bad cholesterol” among patients by an average 64 percent.
** HONDA MOTOR CO LTD, Wednesday close $31.04
Honda is recalling about 1.63 million more cars in Japan to replace air bag inflators made by supplier Takata Corp , a filing with the Japanese transport ministry showed on Thursday.
** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC, Wednesday close $39.31
Qantas Airways Ltd on Thursday said it will resume flights between Sydney and San Francisco after Australian authorities gave interim approval for an expanded codeshare arrangement with American Airlines Group.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Wednesday close $190.05
** TEXTRON INC, Wednesday close $42.96
Lockheed Martin and Textron have emerged as final contenders to buy United Technologies Corp’s Sikorsky Aircraft business, which could be valued at around $8 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
** NOKIA OYJ, Wednesday close $6.32, +2.85 pct premarket
Germany’s big car makers have reached a stand-off with Nokia in their joint bid to buy the Finnish company’s maps business HERE, while rival offers appear to be unravelling, sources familiar with the process said. (Combined by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)