Aug 29 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
Wall Street was set to rise at the open on Thursday on growing signs a timeline for launching a Western military strike on Syria could be delayed, though caution lingered across markets. S&P 500 futures rose 5 points and were above/below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 52 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 12 points.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, Wednesday close $29.41, up 8 pct premarket
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Wednesday close $46.56, up 7 pct premarket
Vodafone said on Thursday it was in talks with Verizon to sell its 45 percent stake in their U.S. joint venture Verizon Wireless for what a Bloomberg report said would be about $130 billion.
** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $40.55, up 1.3 pct premarket
Some of Mark Zuckerberg’s mutual fund backers delivered a tough message on compensation for the leaders of the company.
Fidelity Investments, led by its $98 billion Contrafund, was among those voting against the pay of the social media company’s top leaders in a non-binding contest at its annual meeting in June, its first since going public.
** GUESS INC, Wednesday close $27.31, up 15 pct premarket
The company’s second-quarter results beat Wall Street estimates, helped by recovering sales in North America, and bucked a broader trend of falling sales for apparel retailers.
** US AIRWAYS, Wednesday close $15.34, up 3.65 pct premarket
** AMERICAN AIRLINES, Wednesday close $3.05
American Airways, US Airways and the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday they were open to settling a court fight over whether the two companies should be allowed to merge, but there was no sign of an imminent agreement.
* BOEING CO, Wednesday close $103.27, up 0.7 pct premarket
Canada’s WestJet Airlines Ltd said on Thursday it has reached a preliminary agreement to purchase 65 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing. Boeing said the pending order is valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, Wednesday close $7.96, down 3 pct premarket
The company posted a smaller quarterly loss as it shipped more solar panels to newer markets such as Japan. Its net loss narrowed to $21.6 million, or 58 cents per American depositary share (ADS) in the second quarter, from $72.1 million, or $1.91 per ADS, a year earlier.
** WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC, Wednesday close $56.97, down 2 pct premaket
The upscale home furnishings chain on Wednesday reported a drop in quarterly gross margin on bigger discounts and its outlook pointed to weaker sales trends in the back half of the year.
** SHANDA GAMES LTD, Wednesday close $4.55, up 3.5 pct premarket
The online game developer reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter and said current-quarter revenue from its mobile gaming business is expected to increase by about 50 percent from the previous quarter.
** MCDONALD‘S CORP, Wednesday close $96.08, down 0.5 pct premarket
** BURGER KING WORLDWIDE INC, Wednesday close $19.67
** MACY‘S INC, Wednesday close $44.32
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, Wednesday close $40.87
** DOLLAR TREE INC, Wednesday close $53.31
Fast-food workers across the United States are expected to stage their largest strike to date on Thursday in an almost year-long campaign to raise wages in the service sector. Employees of McDonald‘s, Wendy’s Restaurants, Burger King and others have pledged to walk off their jobs in 50 cities. They are expected to be joined by retail employees at stores owned by Macy‘s, Sears Holdings and Dollar Tree in some cities.
** ALCOA INC, Wednesday close $7.93, up 0.4 pct premarket
Top aluminium producers have offered Japanese buyers a premium of $250 per tonne for October-December primary metal shipments, unchanged from the previous quarter, three sources involved in quarterly pricing talks said on Wednesday.
** ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $6.69
The company said a patient being treated with the company’s experimental lung drug experienced a heart rhythm disorder, raising concerns over the drug’s safety.
** SIGNET JEWELERS LTD, Wednesday close $69.83, down 4 pct premarket
The company reported higher second-quarter sales on Thursday as shoppers spent more per visit at its Kay Jewelers and Jared stores in the United States, but business at its British stores slipped.
** PERCEPTRON INC, Wednesday close $8.60, up 32 pct premarket
The company, which sells non-contact measurement and inspection products to the automotive and manufacturing industries, reported a 62 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue and said orders almost doubled, helped by higher demand from Europe.
** FRESH MARKET INC, Wednesday close $54.28, down 6 pct premarket
The specialty grocer on Wednesday reported second-quarter sales lower than analysts’ estimates and lowered its fiscal 2013 profit forecast.
UBS on Thursday downgraded its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to Theflyonthewall.com
** CAMPBELL SOUP CO, Wednesday close $44.71, down 1.6 pct premarket
The world’s largest soup maker reported a 9 percent rise in adjusted profit, helped by acquisitions and strengthening U.S sales of condensed soups and broth. (UPDATE)
** EGAIN CORP, Wednesday close $10.82, up 12 pct premarket
The call center software maker reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, boosted by higher revenue across businesses.
The company’s revenue from its largest business - subscription and support - rose 42 percent to $8.9 million in the quarter. Brokerage Needham and Co raised its price target on the stock to $14 from $12.
** CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $4.95, up 8 pct premarket
The waste management company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter due to higher waste volumes. The company also forecast full-year revenue largely above analysts’ estimates.
** CORINTHIAN COLLEGES INC, Wednesday close $2.61, down 6 pct premarket
The for-profit education provider reported a 3 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue and said student sign-ups fell more than the company had expected, mainly due to fewer sign-ups for its online programs. Corinthian said it expected the slide in online new student enrollments to continue in the current quarter.
** CUBIST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $63.59, down 1 pct premarket
The drugmaker said it was voluntarily recalling four lots of its antibiotic Cubicin after finding certain particulate matter in a number of vials from the lots. No related adverse events have been reported, the company said, adding that it was recalling the lots due to a manufacturing issue at a production line at one of its third-party manufacturers.
The company said it suspended all manufacturing at the supplier until corrective steps are taken. The company does not expect the recall to interfere with Cubicin supply or have any material financial impact on the company.
** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $243.07
The drugmaker said its blockbuster eye medicine Eylea won regulatory approval for sale in Europe as a treatment for visual impairment due to macular edema - a condition caused by swelling of the macula of the eye - after central retinal vein occlusion, a common retinal vascular disorder. Germany’s Bayer is Regeneron’s development partner on Eylea.
** GENESCO INC, Wednesday close $69.55
The footwear retailer, known for its Journeys brand, estimated second-quarter results below analysts’ forecast, hurt by challenging sales environment, and the company slashed its adjusted profit outlook for the current year.
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Wednesday close $86.53
The company is joining the hunt for drugs to treat dengue fever - the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease - by linking with academic researchers in Belgium and the Wellcome Trust medical charity.
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, Wednesday close $66.77
The global exploration and production company submitted the highest bid on a single tract on Wednesday for drilling rights in the western Gulf of Mexico lease sale, which attracted the second-lowest number of bids since 1983, regulators said. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan; Editing by Joyjeet Das)