(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 rose on Wednesday as investors found few reasons to buy ahead of a market holiday with major indexes near all-time or multi-year highs. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.14 percent at 16,082, S&P 500 futures were up 0.11 percent at 1,803.9 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.19 percent at 3,453.75.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Tuesday close $25.09, +6.18 pct premarket
Signs that Hewlett-Packard Co’s turnaround plan is finally yielding results prompted at least one brokerage to raise its rating on HP shares and eight others to raise price targets, setting up the stock for a bounce on Wednesday.
** TILLY‘S INC, Tuesday close $15.88, -23.49 pct premarket
The teen apparel retailer forecast a much lower-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, citing weak customer traffic amid increased promotions in the holiday season.
** INFOBLOX INC, Tuesday close $44.96, -20.82 pct premarket
The network equipment maker forecast second-quarter results below analysts’ expectations. Infoblox’s shares have almost tripled in the past year, spurred by strong demand for its automation products that help telecom companies manage internet traffic more efficiently.
** GW PHAMACEUTICALS PLC, Tuesday close $35, +8.57 pct premarket
The company said its cannabis-based drug, Sativex, recieved Swiss regulatory approval for the treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients who have not responded to conventional treatment. Sativex will be marketed in Switzerland by GW’s European partner, Almirall SA. Sativex now holds approval in 23 countries, the company said in a statement.
Piper Jaffray initiated coverage of the stock with an “overweight” rating.
** COMPUWARE CORP, Tuesday close $10.82, +3.51 pct premarket
Several private equity investors including Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity Partners have approached the business software maker to take the company private, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the discussions. (link.reuters.com/vak94v)
Recently, activist investor Starboard Value LP said the company should consider an immediate sale or a new restructuring plan.
** CROCS INC, Tuesday close $13.54, +6.35 pct premarket
The shoemaker, known for its brightly colored clogs, is in talks with buyout firms including Blackstone Group LP about a possible investment, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. (link.reuters.com/mak94v)
** DURATA THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $10.8, +10.19 pct premarket
The company said U.S. health regulators granted priority review to its experimental skin drug, Dalvance, and set a review date of May 26, 2014.
This status allows for an expedited review process for medicines that are considered potentially significant therapeutic advancements over existing therapies.
** FOSTER WHEELER AG, Tuesday close $28.73, +4.59 pct premarket
British engineer Amec is looking at Swiss-based rival Foster Wheeler among a number of potential acquisition targets, but is not currently in talks with the company, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.
** TIVO INC, Tuesday close $13.24
The digital video recorder maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by strong growth in cable television subscriptions.
** ANALOG DEVICES INC, Tuesday close $49.92, -4.81 pct premarket
The chipmaker reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue and forecast current-quarter results below analysts’ expectations as customers remain cautious about spending.
** CVS Caremark Corp, Tuesday close $66.09
The drugstore operator chain said on Wednesday it was buying Coram LLC, Apria Healthcare Group Inc’s specialty infusion services and enteral nutrition business unit, for $2.1 billion.
** AEROVIRONMENT INC, Tuesday close $26.92, +4.38 pct premarket
The maker of unmanned aircraft systems late on Tuesday forecast 2014 results above Wall Street expectations as its order backlog rose 56 percent to $133.8 million during the second quarter. The company also reported second-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates.
Sterne Agee & Leach raised its price target on the company’s stock to $25 from $21 while Benchmark Co raised its price target to $30 from $26.92.
** MORGAN STANLEY, Tuesday close $31.39
The U.S. Justice Department is probing the bank for its hiring practices in China, according to a person familiar with the matter. The move comes as U.S. authorities expand their investigation into whether banks’ hiring of politically connected Chinese employees may have breached U.S. bribery laws.
** MCKESSON CORP, Tuesday close $164.35
Hedge fund Elliott International lifted its stake in German drugs distributor Celesio AG, bringing it close to a position where it could block the $8.3 billion takeover bid by McKesson.
** IAMGOLD CORP, Tuesday close $4.13
The miner and its subsidiary Rosebel Gold Mines N.V. will fund the development and operation of a solar power project in Suriname in South America. The projected, likely to cost $12 million to $14 million, is expected to be operational by the start of the third quarter of 2014, the company said. (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)