(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s) U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday amid lingering market uncertainty as a partial U.S. government shutdown extended to a third day and leaders in Congress showed no sign of progress towards resolving the stalemate. S&P 500 futures were down 0.23 percent, Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.25 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.17 percent.
** ELI LILLY AND CO, Wednesday close $50.54, up 1 pct premarket
The drugmaker said it expected to buy back about $5 billion of shares over time and maintain its dividend at least at current levels. Lilly also warned that slowing growth in key emerging markets would make it difficult to meet the company’s minimum revenue goal of $20 billion in 2014.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, Wednesday close $174.99, down 3.3 pct premarket
Shares of the electric car maker fell as much as 6 percent on Wednesday after an automotive blog published images of a Model S electric sedan in flames after an accident on Tuesday morning just south of Seattle, Washington.
The blog, called Jalopnik, posted pictures and a video of the Model S fire on Wednesday. Tesla confirmed the authenticity of the images and said the car caught fire after the driver ran over a “large metallic object” causing extensive damage to the front end of the car.
** VIVUS INC, Wednesday close $10.19, up 3 pct premarket
Brokerage Cowen and Co upgraded the obesity pill maker’s stock to “outperform” from “marketperform,” saying the company’s recently approved diet pill showed stronger efficacy than rival Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc’s diet drug Belviq.
Leadership changes including the appointment of Seth H.Z. Fischer, a former senior executive at Johnson & Johnson, to revive the company’s weak sales were also viewed as positive outcomes by analyst Simos Simeonidis.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, Wednesday close $18.56, up 2 pct premarket
The solar panel maker said it sold two solar power plants totaling 20 megawatts in Ontario to a fund managed by BlackRock Inc on Sept. 30. The announcement comes a day after the company closed the sale of two power plants to energy company TransCanada Corp
Brokerage Lazard Capital Markets raised its target price on the company’s stock to $25 from $20.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Wednesday close $73.72
** TARGET CORP, Wednesday close $63.65
** MACY‘S INC, Wednesday close $43.97
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $114.82
** BEST BUY CO INC, Wednesday close $37.66
** HOME DEPOT INC, Wednesday close $76.32
U.S. retail sales should rise 3.9 percent this holiday season, outpacing last year’s gains, though economic concerns may impact shoppers’ spending, the world’s largest retail trade association said on Thursday. The National Retail Federation expects U.S. sales in November and December to rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion.
** GENERAL ELECTRIC, Wednesday close $24.33
The conglomerate will float a majority stake in its Swiss consumer finance unit GE Money Bank in the fourth quarter as part of a retreat from the sector to focus more on industrial interests. GE Money Bank, which will be renamed Cembra Money Bank following the initial public offering (IPO), said on Thursday it would list all 30 million of its shares on the SIX Swiss exchange but GE Capital would keep a sizeable minority stake.
** MOSAIC CO, Wednesday close $45.60
** POTASH CORP, Wednesday close $32.84
** INTREPID POTASH INC, Wednesday close $16.52
** AGRIUM INC, Wednesday close
Russia’s Uralkali, the world’s largest potash miner by output, expects global potash prices to rebound in 2014 after reaching a bottom level in terms of supply contracts with China, the top global consumer, Uralkali’s head of sales told Reuters.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday close $52,09
Italian prosecutors have asked that JPMorgan stand trial for allegedly obstructing regulators as part of a wider probe into Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s purchase of a smaller rival, a judicial source said. Prosecutors allege JPMorgan withheld information from Italian regulators about a 950 million euro ($1.3 billion) financing the U.S. bank arranged for Monte dei Paschi’s takeover of regional Italian lender Antonveneta in 2008.
** ASTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $8.63
Otsuka Holdings Co’s $886 million bid for Astex has run into opposition from an activist shareholder who says the deal significantly undervalues the U.S. biotech firm - a charge that Astex has denied.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $23.32
** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $50.28, down 0.5 pct
Cisco and Facebook said on Wednesday they will work with big businesses such as hotels and retailers to provide free wireless Internet access to consumers who sign in using a Facebook log-in.
** ACTUANT CORP, Wednesday close $38.86
** COLUMBUS MCKINNON CORP, Wednesday close $23.89
Industrial products makers Actuant and Columbus McKinnon are among the bidders for Crosby Group LLC, a lifting equipment company that is valued at around $1 billion, several people familiar with the matter said this week.
** CLEAN ENERGY FUELS CORP, Wednesday close $13.79
The natural gas fuel supplier said early Thursday that it has started distributing methane gas fuel made from landfills, sewage plants and other sources of waste at its gas stations throughout the United States. Chief Executive Andrew Littlefair, who had promised “big” news on Thursday in a Sept. 30 message on Twitter, said Clean Energy was the first company to commercially distribute this fuel.
** FUEL TECH INC, Wednesday close $4.40
The company, which provides air pollution reduction and control solutions to utility and industrial customers, said it received four air pollution control contracts for about $2.5 million from existing customers in China. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)