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July 11 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
U.S. stocks were poised for a strong open, after comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the central bank was unlikely to scale back its stimulus measures earlier than expected. S&P 500 futures rose 15.8 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 124 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures was up 26.50 points.
** ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC, Wednesday close $3.76, up 28 pct premarket
Rockwell Medical said a late-stage trial of its experimental iron deficiency drug met the main goal of improving hemoglobin levels in patients with chronic kidney disease.
** BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION INC, Wednesday close $12.27, up 25 percent premarket
The education services provider said on Wednesday that it expects profit of 16 cents to 20 cents per share and revenue of $195.5 million to $199.5 million in the quarter ended June 30. Analysts on average are expecting a profit of 34 cents per share on revenue of $205.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Barrington Research on Thursday raised its rating on the company's stock to "outperform" from "market perform".
** ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $37.60, up 14 pct premarket
The company said an early-stage trial of its gene-based therapy showed the drug successfully suppressed the protein that causes an organ-damaging hereditary disorder.
The study was testing a subcutaneously administered version of the drug, ALN-TTR, to treat the genetic disorder amyloidosis, when caused by mutations in the transthyretin gene.
** APOLLO GROUP, Wednesday close $17.89, up 8 pct premarket
The for-profit education company said the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, reaffirmed the accreditation of its University of Phoenix through 2022-2023 academic year.
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, Wednesday close $3.06, up 8.5 pct premarket
The Canadian miner said on Wednesday it was looking to cut costs for the second time this year as silver prices fall. The company said silver production rose 48 percent to 1,535,873 ounces and revenue rose 57 percent to $63.5 million in the second quarter.
** Celgene Corp, Wednesday close $125.08, up 6 pct premarket
The company said a late-stage trial of its cancer drug Revlimid met the main goal of improving survival in newly diagnosed blood cancer patients, potentially opening up the path for a wider use of the drug.
** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES INFC, Wednesday close $3.98, up 6 pct premarket
Canaccord Genuity analysts raised their rating on the maker of microprocessors to "buy" from "hold," saying the company is likely to benefit from Microsoft Corp's plans to increase the number of Xbox gaming servers.
BofA Merrill raised the company's stock to "buy" from "underperform", according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, Wednesday close $26.61, up 4 pct premarket
** ROYAL GOLD INC, Wednesday close $42.02, up 4 pct premarket
** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, Wednesday close $60.70, up 7 pct premarket
Gold jumped to a near three-week high on Thursday as the dollar tumbled after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it would continue to pursue monetary stimulus, given tame inflation and a fragile labor market.
Spot gold climbed as much as 2.7 percent to $1,298.36, its highest since June 24. It was up 1.5 percent to $1,282.31 an ounce by 0938 GMT.
** FREEPORT MCMORAN COPPER & GOLD, Wednesday close $27.28, up 3 pct premarket
Shares of one of the world's largest copper producers rose as copper prices hit their highest level in nearly a month on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman signaled a commitment to monetary stimulus for the foreseeable future, helping boost appetite for risky assets.
** CITIGROUP INC, Wednesday close $49.63, up 2 pct premarket
** WELLS FARGO & CO, Wednesday close $42.07, up 1.2 pct premarket
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday close $54.83 , up 1.5 pct premarket
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $155.83, up 1.3 pct premarket
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Wednesday close $13.37, up 1.2 pct premarket
Minutes from the latest policy-setting Federal Reserve meeting showed that the U.S. central bank will continue to pursue an accommodative monetary policy for now as inflation remains low and the employment rate may be overstating the health of the labor market.
** ADTRAN INC, Wednesday close $23.47, up 2.6 pct premarket
Analysts at MKM Partners raised their rating on the network gear maker's shares to "neutral" from "sell" following deal wins from Deutsche Telekom and AT&T.
The company reported better-then-expected second-quarter results due to growth in its inter-networking and broadband access products on Wednesday.
Goldman Sachs analysts raised their rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral", according to flyonthewall.com.
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, Wednesday close $ 63.53, up 1 pct premarket
Oil and gas company ConocoPhillips COP.N raised its dividend by 4.5 percent to 69 cents per share, its first increase in more than two years. The dividend is payable on Sept. 3 to shareholders at the close of business on July 22, the company said.
** HESS CORP, Wednesday close $68.73, up 2 pct premarket
JP Morgan upgraded the oil and gas company's stock to "overweight" from "neutral", according to Theflyonthewall.com. Hess, which was under fire from its third-largest investor Elliot Management, has announced plans to quit its retail and marketing business and focus on exploration and production.
** NOKIA OYJ , Wednesday close $4.14, up 2.2 pct premarket
Nokia is likely to unveil a new smartphone with a 41-megapixel camera, banking on advanced optics to make up for meager marketing resources and a limited range of phone apps. Analysts, however, are skeptical that a new camera for the flagship Lumia smartphone will be enough for the Finnish company to regain market share from rivals Samsung and Apple.
** LINEAR TECHNOLOGY CORP, Wednesday close $38.11, up 2 pct premarket
Brokerage Jefferies raised its rating on the semiconductor company to "buy", and said it expects higher growth from the company's higher margin automotive and industrial businesses.
** FORD MOTOR CO, Wednesday close $16.72, up 1.2 pct premarket
Ford Motor's Stephen Odell, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, provides an update on its restructuring plan for Europe. Ford expects to lose $2 billion in Europe this year. During the first quarter, Ford spent $225 million on its European overhaul and plans to close three factories in the region by next year. Through May, Ford sales in Europe were down 11.1 percent, more than the 7.2 percent for the industry.
** L BRANDS INC, Wednesday close $50.61, up 1.7 pct premarket
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $113.65, up 1.5 pct
Sales at U.S. retailers, including Costco Wholesale and L Brands, the company that runs Victoria's Secret, suggest that overall U.S. consumer spending is improving while discretionary spending may remain under pressure.
Gap Inc plans to report its June sales after the market closes on Thursday afternoon.
** RANGE RESOURCES CORP, Wednesday close $79.09, up 1.4 pct premarket
The Texas-based oil and gas producer said output rose 27 percent in the second quarter, primarily due to drilling in the oil-rich Marcellus shale in the U.S. Northeast. However, less profitable natural gas continued to dominate Range Resource's production mix, accounting for more than two-thirds of total output during the quarter ended June.
** INFOSYS LTD, Wednesday close $42.58, up 1 pct premarket
The strongest growth outlook for U.S. demand for information and communication technology since the 2008 financial crisis is likely to help Narayana Murthy revive Infosys Ltd INFY.NS, the Indian IT giant he founded, but the updraft will also boost its faster-growing rivals.
** SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORP, Wednesday close $10.62, up 3 pct after market
The gunmaker increased its share repurchase price to $11 per share from $10, and extended the tender date for the fixed-price cash offer to July 23 from the second week of July.
** PRICESMART INC, Wednesday close $91.63, down 3 pct after market
The shopping warehouse club operator reported on Wednesday a third-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates.
** BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON, Wednesday close $18.13, up 1 pct after market
The U.S. Air Force said it sees no evidence that the company who had employed Edward Snowden is responsible for his disclosure of classified U.S. information, a finding that allows the defense contractor to continue doing business with the Pentagon.
** VIVUS INC, Wednesday close $13.54, up 1 pct after market
The obesity drugmaker's third-largest shareholder intends to vote for the full slate of nine directors proposed by dissident investor First Manhattan Co, a source familiar with QVT's thinking said on Wednesday.
** VOXX INTERNATIONAL CORP, Wednesday close $13.20 The audio equipment maker reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit and said it was projecting modest sales increases this year.
** MERRIMACK PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $6.99
The company said on Wednesday that it intends to offer $50 million of its common stock and $75 million in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes in concurrent underwritten public offerings.
** CHEVRON CORP, Wednesday close $122.90
The second-largest U.S. oil company said on Wednesday its oil and gas production declined last quarter, mainly due to various shutdowns and maintenance work in Kazakhstan, Australia and Nigeria.
** MCGRAW HILL FINANCIAL INC, Wednesday close $55.89
The company said its Chief Executive Harold McGraw will step down and be replaced by Douglas Peterson. Peterson is currently president of Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. The appointment will be effective from Nov. 1, the company said in a statement.
** SMITHFIELD FOODS, Wednesday close $32.84
U.S. senators sought answers from the head of Smithfield Foods on Wednesday about whether the proposed sale of the Virginia ham maker to China's largest pork producer could hurt U.S. food safety and raise prices for American consumers.
**INTEROIL CORP, Wednesday close $68.15
The oil and gas company said it appointed former BP Plc employee Michael Hession as its chief executive officer. Hession joins after the company's founder and CEO Phil Mulacek retired in April. (Compiled by Lehar Maan; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)