November 11, 2013 / 2:22 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Zalicus, CollabRx, ViroPharma, Gulf Resources, Facebook

8 Min Read

(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 rose 2.4 points. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 23 points and Nasdaq 100 futures up 2 points.

** ZALICUS INC, Friday close $4.69, down 70 pct premarket

The company said it would stop developing an experimental pain drug after it failed to show a benefit over a placebo in two mid-stage trials.

** COLLABRX INC, Friday close $4.21, up 59 pct premarket

The data analytics firm signed a multi-year agreement with Quest Diagnostics Inc to use the company's clinical test reports in Quest's cancer sequencing tests. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

** GULF RESOURCES INC, Friday close $2.12, up 28 pct premarket

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.

** 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.

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

** ICAHN ENTERPRISES L.P., Friday close $120.25, down 5.2 pct premarket

Transocean 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.

** 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.

** DISCOVERY LABORATORIES INC, Friday close $2.01, up 11.4 pct premarket

Piper Jaffray & Co analysts started coverage on the company's stock with an "overweight" rating, saying that its drug, Surfaxin, which treats a respiratory disorder in infants, had significant advantages over older drugs.

The analysts also said that the company's experimental drug to treat the same respiratory disorder could target a wider population of infants.

"With north of $100 million in peak sales potential ... we believe the company can reach profitability on Surfaxin alone," analysts David Amsellem and Traver Davis wrote in a note to clients.

** 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.

** GIVEN IMAGING LTD, Friday close $22.78, up 3 pct premarket

The Israeli company said Japan's Central Social Insurance Medical Council approved a recommendation to reimburse Given Imaging's diagnostic tool for detecting diseases in the colon.

The company's PillCam Colon video capsule is designed to be ingested by the patient and transmit up to 35 frames per second for about 10 hours to a recording device worn by the patient

** BEST BUY CO INC, $42.41, up 2.1 pct premarket

Jefferies & Co raised its price target on the electronics retailer's stock to $52 from $40. The brokerage said the company's space reallocation initiatives of reducing floor space for low-margin categories and expanding it for better margin, growth categories could drive significant sales and earnings growth over the next year.

"Our analysis shows that management's initiatives on space reallocation could yield a 12-13 percent sales lift and around $500 million of incremental EBIT, or $0.91 per share," lead analyst Daniel Binder wrote in a note.

** 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.

** DEVON ENERGY CORP, $60.11, up 2 pct premarket

The oil and natural gas company's stock could rise 25 percent or more to exceed $80 per share as it reaps the benefit of retooling itself to hunt for more oil, according to Nov. 11 edition of U.S. weekly newspaper Barron's.

** 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.

** HORIZON PHARMA INC, Friday close $4.86, up 5 pct premarket

The company signed an agreement with privately owned Mundipharma International Ltd, granting it the right to market Horizon's rheumatoid arthritis drug Lodotra in the Middle East and Africa. Mundipharma already markets the drug in Europe, Asia and Latin America. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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