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(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.
** ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $1.69
The communication services company reported bigger fourth-quarter net loss, hurt by higher operating expenses.
** MACERICH CO, Wednesday close $83.8, +5.19 pct premarket
** SIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC, Wednesday close $187.56, +0.77 pct premarket
Simon Property, the owner of malls and outlet centers, made its latest approach to buy rival Macerich in the past few weeks, according to a Wall Street Journal report. (on.wsj.com/1ALzqcD)
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $147.17, +2.62 pct premarket
The third-largest U.S. retailer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a tax benefit related to its special cash dividend last month.
** ENCANA CORP, Wednesday close $12.27, -3.75 pct premarket
Canada's largest natural gas producer said it plans to raise up to C$1.44 billion ($1.16 billion) through a secondary share issue as the company looks to bolster a balance sheet weakened by low oil and natural gas prices.
** ROUNDY'S INC, Wednesday close $4.02
The grocery chain operator reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, mainly due to benefit of new and acquired stores in Illinois and an additional week.
** PACIFIC ETHANOL INC, Wednesday close $9.33
The ethanol producer reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by a rise in sales volumes.
** VANDA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $11.06
The drugmaker's experimental atopic dermatitis drug failed to treat chronic itching in mid-stage study. Study data showed no statistical difference between patients on drug, tradipitant, and those on placebo.
** HERITAGE INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC, Wednesday close $20
The insurer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher premium income. Net premiums earned more than doubled to $81.5 million in the quarter ended Dec 31.
Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru