CORRECTED-MARKET PULSE-Achillion, Basic Energy, Francesca's, PPL, Sprint
(Corrects item on PPL Corp to say Riverstone is not buying its energy unit, but the two companies are combining their merchant power generation businesses) U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Tuesday, as investors found few reasons to keep buying with the Dow and S&P 500 just off the latest in a string of records. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.14 percent at 16,913, S&P 500 futures were down 0.21 percent at 1,946.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.20 percent at 3,786.
** SPRINT CORP, Monday close $8.77, +2.39 pct premarket
Macquarie upgraded the telecom service operator's stock to "outperform".
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Monday close $4.25, +34.59 pct premarket
The biotechnology company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted a hold on one of its most promising experimental hepatitis C drug, sovaprevir, nearly a year after it was first imposed.
JMP Securities analysts raised their target price on the stock to "market outperform" from "market perform", saying that Merck & Co 's planned acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals leaves Achillion as the only unencumbered, clinical-stage, hepatitis C (HCV) nucleotide-analog company with several potential acquirers in the wings, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson.
** FRANCESCA'S HOLDINGS CORP, Monday close $15.28, -9.36 pct premarket Continued...