(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index futures added to gains after data showed weekly initial jobless claims fell more than expected to a near six-year low and a final reading for second-quarter gross domestic product growth remained unchanged. S&P 500 futures rose 4.5 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures added 34 points and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 16.75 points.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Wednesday close $10.12, up 1.7 pct premarket
The retailer said it was pleased with the progress of its turnaround efforts and still expected positive comparable-store sales trends coming out of the third quarter and throughout the fourth. J.C. Penney shares, which fell as much as 8 percent in premarket trading on Thursday, reversed course on the company’s statement and were up 1 percent just ahead of the opening bell.
** HERTZ GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC, Wednesday close $25.78, down 9 pct premarket
The No.2 U.S. car rental company cut its full-year revenue forecast due to weaker-than-expected airport car rental volumes in the United States, the company’s biggest business.
** ELI LILLY AND CO, Wednesday close $52.61, down 3.4 pct premarket
The company said its experimental breast cancer drug failed to improve patients’ survival without their cancer worsening in a late-stage trial, dashing investors’ hopes on one of the company’s most talked-about drugs.
** GENWORTH FINANCIAL INC, Wednesday close $12.73, up 4 pct premarket
The life and mortgage insurer said it has begun filing for premium rate increases on certain long-term care policies sold between 2003 and 2012. The premium rate increases requested will range between 6 and 13 percent on more than $800 million in annualized in-force premiums, the company said on Wednesday.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday close $51.70
The bank is in talks with government officials to settle federal and state mortgage probes for $11 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
** BED BATH AND BEYOND INC, Wednesday close $74.22, up 6 pct premarket
The home furnishing retailer reported an 18 percent jump in second-quarter profit as the U.S. housing market recovery spurs demand for the home goods chain’s products.
** WESTPORT INNOVATIONS INC, Wednesday close $27.30, down 8 pct premarket
The developer of natural gas-powered truck engines offered to sell 6 million shares in the United States and Canada. The offering was priced at $25.39 per share, a 7 percent discount to its Wednesday close.
** KALOBIOS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $4.63, down 10.7 pct premarket
The biotechnology company said it plans to offer 7.5 million shares for $4.00 each, a 14 percent discount to the stock’s closing price on Wednesday. The company expects to raise about $28 million to advance the clinical development of its engineered antibodies.
** FLOW INTERNATIONAL CORP, Wednesday close $3.73, up 8 pct premarket
The maker of industrial water-jet machines said it will be acquired by private equity firm American Industrial Partners for $4.05 per share in cash in a transaction valued in excess of $200 million.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Wednesday close $74.65
The world’s largest retailer’s shares fell 1.5 percent on Wednesday after a report by Bloomberg News said the retailer is cutting orders with suppliers this quarter and next quarter to address rising inventories. The report said an ordering manager at the company described the pullback in an email to a supplier last week, who said other suppliers received similar messages.
** CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP, $20.92, down 6 pct premarket
The casino operator announced the commmencement of a secondary public offering of 10 million shares. The company had about 126.3 million shares outstanding as of Aug. 1.
** TRANSCEPT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $3.69, down 1 pct premarket
The drugmaker said it rejected New York-based pharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc’s buyout offer of $4 per share, an 8 percent premium to the company’s closing price on Wednesday. Transcept said the unsolicited proposal, which valued the company at about $75 million, was not in the best interest of the company or its shareholders.
** JABIL CIRCUIT INC, Wednesday close $24.00, down 3.3 pct premarket
The contract electronics maker said on Wednesday it could cut ties with its second-largest customer BlackBerry Ltd , which could shave off 28 cents to 34 cents from its core earnings per share in 2014. “We are faced with a strong possibility of disengaging with BlackBerry,” Jabil’s Chief Executive Mark Mondello said in a post-earnings conference call with analysts on Wednesday.
The company’s current-quarter revenue forecast missed anlaysts’ estimates as it expects to lose business from BlackBerry.
** HB FULLER CO, Wednesday close $40.42, up 6 pct after market
The chemical company on Wednesday reported a higher-than-expected third-quarter profit as it cut down expenses. The company also raised the low end of its full-year earnings forecast to $2.60 from $2.55 per share.
** EBAY INC, Wednesday close $54.21
EBay said it would buy payment gateway Braintree for about $800 million in cash to add to its PayPal business.
** AIR PRODUCTS & CHEMICALS INC, Wednesday close $107.32
The industrial gas producer feeling the heat from activist investor Bill Ackman, said Chief Executive John McGlade would retire in 2014.
** LDK SOLAR CO LTD, Wednesday close $1.52
The China-based solar panel maker, which failed to meet a debt payment deadline on Aug. 28, said a deal with a majority of its bondholders would give it a 30-day reprieve. The forbearance arrangement for interest payment on the bond will expire on Oct. 27.
** PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP, Wednesday close $25.40, up 4 pct after market
The database management software maker reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, helped by higher revenue from its software licensing business and forecast fourth-quarter revenue growth of 4 percent to 6 percent from a year earlier.
** WINTHROP REALTY TRUST, Wednesday close $12.06, down 4 pct after market
The real estate investment trust said late on Wednesday it was offering 2.8 million shares to fund future acquisitions and working capital requirements. The company had 33.65 million shares outstanding as of Wednesday, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** TCP CAPITAL CORP, Wednesday close $16.25, down 3.45 pct after market
The investment company commenced public offering of 3.8 million shares and said net proceeds from the offering would be used to repay debt.
** ENDURO ROYALTY TRUST, Wednesday close $15, down 4 pct after market
The trust formed by oil and gas company Enduro Resource Partners LLC said on Wednesday the latter would offer 11.2 million trust units to pay a part of the company’s debt.
** ARES CAPITAL CORP, Wednesday close $17.56, down 2.6 pct after market
The investment company commenced public offering of 11 million shares. Underwriters also have an option to purchase up to an additional 1.65 million shares of common stock. Net proceeds from the offer would be used to repay debt, Ares said.
** NIKE INC, Wednesday close $68.92
The shoe company’s first-quarter results are likely to be scrutinized for clues about the pace of spending in North America. Investors will also want to see if business is picking up again in China after on-again, off-again results in recent quarters.
** ACCENTURE PLC, Wednesday close $76.12
Outsourcing and consulting services provider reports quarterly results after markets close. The company cut its full-year outlook in June citing a pullback in spending by clients in its bigger consulting business.
** LEUCADIA NATIONAL CORP, Wednesday close $27.28
Investment bank Jefferies Group LLC, a unit of Leucadia National, has been ordered by an arbitrator to pay $7 million to an investor over an auction-rate securities dispute. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava; Editing by Don Sabastian)