March 31, 2014 / 1:02 PM / 3 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Prana Biotechnology, BlackBerry, Curis

(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 Monday, indicating the S&P 500 will climb for a second straight session, ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.29 percent at 16,287, S&P 500 futures were up 0.40 percent at 1,857.8 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.44 percent at 3,578.75.

** PRANA BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD, Friday close $9.86, -66.33 pct premarket

The company said its experimental drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage study in patients with a mild form of the condition.

** CURIS INC, Friday close $2.75, +10.91 pct premarket

The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed it to resume testing its experimental cancer drug, lifting a November order halting enrolment in an early-stage trial.

** MEDTRONIC INC, Friday close $60.41, +2.22 pct premarket

A non-surgically implanted heart valve meant to delay open heart surgery in children with congenital heart defects worked well for all but a few patients during a year of follow-up observation, in line with favorable results seen in original clinical trials of the Medtronic product.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Friday close $8.41, -0.24 pct premarket

The company reported a smaller-than-expected loss on Friday as new chief executive John Chen slashed costs, but a 64 percent drop in revenue underscored the challenge Chen faces in turning around the struggling smartphone maker.

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, Friday close $135.87

** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $49.56, +0.18 pct premarket

Comcast is planning to increase its share buyback plan by more than 80 percent as its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner undergoes regulatory review in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported.

** FOREST LABORATORIES, Friday close $91.54

Hungarian drug maker Gedeon Richter and its partner Forest Laboratories announced positive top-line results from a Phase IIb trial of antipsychotic drug Cariprazine in patients with bipolar depression, the companies said in a statement on Monday.

** UTI WORLDWIDE INC, Friday close $11.26, -0.89 pct premarket

The logistics company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by weak demand for air freight.

** NOVARTIS AG, Friday close $81.59, +3.81 pct premarket

Novartis has ended a late-stage clinical trial of a chronic heart failure drug early, following strong interim results, giving the Swiss drugmaker a boost after recent setbacks to another heart failure medicine.

** BLUCORA INC, Friday close $19.11

The web search provider is set to challenge Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc’s bid for consumer electronics retailer Brookstone Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

** EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES CORP, Friday close $71.16, +3.99 pct premarket

The minimally invasive aortic heart valve replacement system from Edwards Lifesciences performed better than a rival product sold by Medtronic in the first head-to-head study of the two, according to data from a small German trial presented at a major heart meeting on Sunday.

** INTEROIL CORP, Friday close $63.41, +2.51 pct premarket

The oil and gas company reported bigger revenue for the fourth quarter, helped by its midstream refining business. Revenue rose 12 percent to $398.9 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue from the midstream refining business jumped 17 percent to $353.7 million.

** AMGEN INC, Friday close $120.55, +2.03 pct premarket

The company’s drug from a high profile new class of experimental medicines lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol by 55 percent to 66 percent compared with a placebo in a trio of late-stage clinical trials, according to data presented on Saturday. (Compiled by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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