BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Pharmacyclics, Aviva, Costco
(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index e-mini futures edged higher on Thursday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.17 percent at 18,117, S&P 500 futures were up 0.16 percent at 2,099.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.15 percent at 4,451.
** ABBVIE INC, Wednesday close $60.27, -5.26 pct premarket
** PHARMACYCLICS INC, Wednesday close $230.48, +8.93 pct premarket
AbbVie will buy Pharmacyclics for about $21 billion, giving it access to what is expected to be one of the world's top-selling cancer drugs and expanding its reach in the profitable oncology field. The deal, the latest example of a big drugmaker swooping on a biotech firm to refill its medicine pipeline, confounds expectations that Pharmacyclics would sell out to Johnson & Johnson.
** AVIVA PLC, Wednesday close $16.36, +5.87 pct premarket
The insurer reported a forecast-beating yearly profit, lifting its shares to a multi-year high ahead of a 5.6 billion pound ($8.5 billion) agreed merger due to complete next month. Aviva is acquiring Friends Life Group Ltd as changes in the UK pensions market put pressure on life insurance companies, leading to a drop in their sales of income-bearing annuities.