(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 indexes were little changed on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.03 percent at 16,263.75, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 1,852.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.01 percent at 4,173.832.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $17.36, +1.05 pct
** WELLS FARGO & CO, $49.19, +1.42 pct
** MORGAN STANLEY, $31.26, +0.13 pct
** GOLDMAN SACHS, $162.5, +0.48 pct
** CITIGROUP INC, $47.96, -4.39 pct
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $59.79, -0.18 pct
** PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP INC, $85.085, -0.28 pct
** CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP, $76.14, +1.57 pct
The Federal Reserve, on Wednesday, approved share buyback plans of 25 big banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan, following the positive result of last week’s annual health check.
But the Fed rejected Citigroup’s plans to buy back $6.4 billion of shares and boost dividends, saying the bank is not sufficiently prepared to handle a potential financial crisis.
Last week, all but one of 30 banks passed a model run of a simulated crisis similar to the 2007-09 credit meltdown. All of the banks except Zions Bancorp stayed above the five percent threshold for the top-tier capital requirement.
** BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC, $73.31, +4.61 pct
The healthcare company said it would spin off its biotechnology operations into a publicly traded company by the middle of next year, leaving behind its core medical technology business.
** ESSEX PROPERTY TRUST INC, $166.85, +0.93 pct
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $19.38, +0.62 pct
Iron-ore producer Cliffs Natural will be replaced by Essex Property Trust in the S&P 500 index after close of trading on April 1, S&P Dow Jones indices said, adding that Cliffs’ market capitalization was more representative of the mid-cap space. Cliffs Natural had a market capitalization of $2.95 billion as of Wednesday close.
** CONN‘S INC, $35.555, +3.00 pct
The specialty retailer of home appliances and furniture reported a 33 percent rise in holiday quarter same-store sales, helped by strong sales of high margin furniture and mattresses, and estimated that same-store sales in the current quarter to date were up about 15 percent.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $8.94, -2.40 pct
Analysts at Societe Generale downgraded the Canadian handset maker to “sell” from “hold,” citing weak demand for BlackBerry handsets. The analysts also expect services revenue to fall due to lower subscriptions.
** SPHERIX INC, $3.7, -17.41 pct
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, $22.275, -0.20 pct
Spherix, which buys and licenses technology patents, said it had filed a lawsuit against Cisco alleging the infringement of 11 patents Spherix acquired from Nortel Networks.
** ACCENTURE PLC, $76.7, -7.56 pct
Accenture, recently chosen as the lead contractor for the Obamacare enrollment website, raised its full-year profit forecast and the lower end of its revenue forecast. But the company also reported lower-than-expected results for the second quarter due to weak demand in its consulting business, which has been hit in the past few quarters as companies cut down on discretionary spending.
** REALTY INCOME CORP, $40, -1.91 pct
The real-estate investment trust said late on Wednesday that it would price its offering of 12 million share at $39.96 per share, a discount of 2 percent to the stock’s Wednesday close. Realty Income said it expected to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund acquisitions.
** RGS ENERGY, $3.8139, -1.70 pct
The solar company said it would acquire Hawaii-based solar company Elemental Energy LLC, which operates under the Sunetric brand, for about $16 million in cash and stock, to enter the Hawaiian solar-panel market.
** GAMESTOP CORP, $36.02, -7.40 pct
The world’s biggest retailer of videogame products, reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings, hurt by fewer game releases and a drop in store traffic.
** WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES INC, $27.53, +3.50 pct
The largest U.S. motorhome maker reported a better-than-expected 53 percent jump in profit as it sold more motorhomes to dealers in a quarter marked by storm-related disruptions to transportation and businesses.
** RESOLUTE FOREST PRODUCTS INC, $18.46, +0.76 pct
The newsprint maker said it would invest $105 million in its pulp and paper mill in Calhoun, Tennessee. The company said it would install a modern continuous pulp digester and other wood chip processing equipment. The company expects the installations to help reduce costs.
** SIGNET JEWELERS LTD, $104.29, +6.04 pct
The specialty jewelry retailer reported fourth-quarter results that beat the average analyst estimate helped by a 4.3 percent growth in same-store sales.
** ALIMERA SCIENCES INC, $7.17, +2.72 pct
Alimera Sciences said it has applied a fourth time for U.S. regulatory approval to start selling an eye implant that delivers a drug to treat a form of blindness in diabetes patients.
** CHINA SUNERGY CO LTD, $4.3601, -0.45 pct
The Chinese solar products maker said it would sell its Sunergy Shanghai unit to China Electric Equipment Group Co Ltd for about $37.7 million.
** CLOVIS ONCOLOGY INC, $79, +1.94 pct
The drug developer said one of its experimental cancer drugs shrank tumors in 14 of 22 patients with non-small cell lung cancer carrying a particular genetic mutation. Clovis said that the drug was well tolerated, with only one patient discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.
The company said it would present the interim data from its early-stage trial on Thursday at a medical conference in Geneva. (Reporting By Shuhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)