(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 were little changed on Friday, in the wake of the biggest rally since the first trading day of the year, as talks continued in Washington to end a fiscal stalemate that has shut down the government for days. S&P 500 futures were up 0.06 percent, Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.06 percent.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Thursday close $52.52, up 3 pct premarket
The biggest U.S. bank by assets posted a profit of $5.82 billion, or $1.42 per share, excluding litigation expense and reserve release. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the results and estimates were comparable.
** WELLS FARGO & CO, Thursday close $41.44, up 1.5 pct premarket
The biggest U.S. mortgage lender reported a 13 percent rise in third-quarter profit after reducing the amount it had previously set aside for bad loans.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO Thursday close $40.40, down 6 pct premarket
** W.R. GRACE & CO Thursday close $88.03, up 1 pct premarket
Dow Chemical said it will sell its polypropylene licensing and catalyst business to the smaller peer for $500 million.
** TOWER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD, Thursday close $4.08, up 5.3 pct premarket
Analysts at Guggenheim Securities upgraded the insurance company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, saying the company could return to profitability within a year and produce a “respectable” returns on equity by 2015 by focusing on its core personal lines, small commercial accounts.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Thursday close $8.20, up 1.3 pct premarket
The Canadian smartphone maker’s co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are considering a bid to buy the struggling smartphone maker, according to a securities filing on Thursday, raising the prospect of an alternative to a $4.7 billion offer led by its top shareholder.
** E2OPEN INC, Thursday close $20.40, down 19 pct premarket
The maker of cloud-based business software swung to a second-quarter loss and forecast weaker-than-expected third-quarter results. The company said it expects an adjusted loss of 18 cents to 21 cents per share on revenue of $17.4 million to $17.9 million for the third quarter. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $21 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ANGIODYNAMICS INC, Thursday close $14.28, up 6 pct premarket
The medical device maker reported earnings of 4 cents per share for the first quarter, exceeding analyst estimates of 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It also raised its revenue forecast to $347-$353 million from $346 million to $352 million for the full year.
Canaccord analysts raised their price target on the stock to $13 from $11.50.
** SAFEWAY INC, Thursday close $31.57, up 8 pct premarket
The second-largest U.S. mainstream grocery store operator said on Thursday it plans to leave the Chicago market by early next year as it continues to narrow its focus.
Four brokerages raised their target prices on the company’s stock on Friday. J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded its rating on Safeway’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral.”
** SILICON GRAPHICS INTERNATIONAL CORP, Thursday close $16.35, down 15.5 pct premarket
The supplier of servers based on the Linux operating system, estimated first-quarter results below expectations, citing uncertainty related to the completion of IT projects funded by the U.S. government.
** VIVUS INC, Thursday close $10.31, up 3 pct premarket
The company’s erectile dysfunction drug will be marketed by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc AUXL.O in the United States and Canada in a deal worth up to $300 million, including an upfront licensing fee of $30 million.
** SOLARCITY CORP, Thursday close $38.33, up 5 pct premarket
The U.S. solar installer expects to install 475 megawatts (MW) to 525 MW of solar panels next year, compared with a forecast of 278 MW for this year. The company deployed 78 MW of solar panels in the third quarter ended September, above its earlier estimate of 70 MW-77 MW, SolarCity said. It has grown rapidly thanks to a business model that allows homeowners to pay a monthly fee to lease solar panels, eliminating the need for a large up-front investment.
** ELI LILLY AND CO, Thursday close $49.15, down 1 pct premarket
Jefferies & Co analyst Jeffrey Holford downgraded the drugmaker’s stock to “underperform” from “hold”, saying the Indiana-based company has disappointed on research and development.
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, Thursday close $26.30
The miner cut its forecast for full-year copper production on Thursday, blaming lower-than-expected throughput at its Boddington mine in Australia and lower-than-expected ore grade processed at its Batu Hijua operation in Indonesia.
** GAP INC, Thursday close $39.48, down 5 pct premarket
The apparel retailer said sales at stores open at least a year fell 3 percent in September, hurt by consumers’ reluctance to shop amid growing economic uncertainty. Analysts had expected comparable-sales to rise 1.6 percent in the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY, Thursday close $18.43, down 3 pct premarket
The company posted a smaller-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday but the chipmaker’s shares held steady on expectations memory chip supplies will be constrained following a recent fire at a competitor’s factory.
** SUNTRUST BANKS INC, Thursday close $32.27
SunTrust Banks agreed to pay nearly $1.2 billion to resolve investigations from several U.S. authorities into its mortgage practices, the bank said on Thursday.
** IMMUNOGEN INC, Thursday close $16.08
The biotechnology company said it has exclusively licensed to Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG its antibody-drug conjugate technology to develop anti-cancer therapeutics. Immunogen gets an upfront payment and is entitled to get milestone payments potentially totaling about $200 million plus royalties. Antibody-drug conjugates a new class of drugs designed as a targeted therapy to treat cancer.
** ZAGG INC, Thursday close $4.38, down 3 pct after market
The company, which makes scratch guards for mobile and tablet devices, estimated third-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)