November 11, 2013 / 1:52 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Apple, ViroPharma, Facebook, Transocean, ImmunoGen

(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/tab64v)

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Monday with the Dow index set for another record while trading volume was likely to be quiet due to the Veterans Day holiday. S&P 500 futures were up 2.4 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures up 23 points and Nasdaq 100 futures up 2 points.

** VIROPHARMA INC, Friday close $39.38, up 26 pct premarket

** SHIRE PLC, Friday close $134.40, up 3.4 pct premarket

Shire is buying the company for $4.2 billion, attracted by a pipeline of potentially lucrative drugs to treat rare diseases, a growing trend as drugs companies lose revenues from patent expiries on conventional treatments.

** APPLE INC, Friday close $520.56, up 0.2 pct premarket

The company is developing new iPhone designs including bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing a unnamed person familiar with the plans.

** FACEBOOK INC, Friday close $47.53, down 1 pct premarket

The firm’s director Marc Andreessen’s venture-capital firm sold a third of its stake in the world’s No. 1 online social network, according to a recent regulatory filing.

** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Friday close $14.32, down 0.28 pct premarket

The U.S. government urged that the bank pay $863.6 million in damages after a federal jury found it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit.

** SONY CORP, Friday close $16.74

Activist hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point held a 1.64 percent direct interest in Sony shares as of the end of September, a regulatory filing showed.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Friday close $6.56, up 1 pct premarket

BlackBerry’s board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp, Apple and Lenovo Group Ltd, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions.

** GRIFOLS SA, Friday close $29.96, up 6 pct premarket

The Spanish pharmaceuticals group said it would finance its $1.675 billion acquisition of Novartis’s blood transfusion diagnostics unit with a $1.5 billion loan from banks.

** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $10.98, up 5 pct premarket

The Chinese solar products maker said it would supply 70 MW of polycrystalline modules to solar panel system integrator Shanghai CSET for two commercial rooftop projects.

** IMMUNOGEN INC, Friday close $13.64, down 3 pct premarket

Brokerage Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “equal weight”, saying the drugmaker’s early-stage pipeline could see negative outcomes, after the company discontinued a mid-stage trial of its experimental small-cell lung cancer drug last week following the death of a patient.

** TRANSOCEAN LTD, Friday close $53.45, up 2.3 pct premarket

The company said it reached an agreement with Carl Icahn that would see the offshore driller paying out a dividend and reducing the number of board seats, in a move that resolves a months-long proxy battle. As per the agreement, Transocean would pay a $3 dividend, while reducing the maximum number of directors to eleven from fourteen. Icahn had previously pressed for a $4 per share dividend.

** GULF RESOURCES INC, Friday close $2.12, up 29 pct after market

The Chinese specialty chemicals and crude salt maker’s third-quarter profit almost doubled, led by a 65 percent rise in chemical sales. The company’s chemicals are used in a variety of industries including oil field drilling and papermaking.

** RDA MICROELECTRONICS INC, Friday close $17.53, up 2.7 pct premarket

The chipmaker said it will sell itself to China’s state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd for about $910 million.

** MITEL NETWORKS CORP, Friday close $6.65

Mitel, a provider of internet phone and video-conferencing services, said it would buy smaller rival Aastra Technologies Ltd for C$392 million ($374 million) to expand its customer base.

** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Friday close $94.05, up 0.4 pct premarket

** AMAZON.COM INC, Friday close $350.31

J&J stopped selling some of its products through Amazon.com because it felt the online retailer was not doing enough to stop third-party merchants from selling damaged or expired J&J merchandise, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

** INTERCONTINENTALEXCHANGE INC, Friday close $204.20

** NYSE EURONEXT, Friday close $46.03

IntercontinentalExchange said its takeover of NYSE Euronext would close on Nov. 13, after clearing final regulatory hurdles on Friday. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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