April 4, 2013 / 1:28 PM / 5 years ago

MARKET PULSE-GM, Facebook, pSivida, Universal Display, Merrimack Pharma

(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/faq23t)

April 4 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:


U.S. stock index futures turned flat on Thursday, with the S&P 500 dropping into negative territory after data showed an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims.

S&P 500 futures were down 0.2 point. Dow Jones industrial average futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were both unchanged.

** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $26.25, up 1 pct premarket

The company is expected to showcase software on Thursday that places the No. 1 social network front-and-center on Android smartphones, as it looks for new ways to keep its billion users worldwide hooked on the service.

** PSIVIDA CORP, Wednesday close $2.26, up 13 pct premarket

The drugmaker said it signed a deal with a global pharmaceutical company to test two of its opthamology-related drug delivery systems -- Durasert and Tethadur. The company did not name the global partner.

** TOYOTA MOTOR, Wednesday close $100.88, up 3.6 pct premarket

** HONDA MOTOR CO, Wednesday close $37.20, up 3.5 pct premarket

** SONY CORP, Wednesday close $16.43, up 2 pct premarket

The Bank of Japan shocked markets with a radical overhaul of its monetary policy, adopting a new balance sheet target and pledging to double its government bond holdings in two years.

** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $27.80

The company’s Chief Executive Dan Akerson said on Thursday the U.S. auto industry will see strong demand for the next four or five years as more drivers continue to replace their aging vehicles.

The carmaker also said it will invest about $332 million in four manufacturing sites to produce more fuel-efficient engines and transmission systems.

** MERRIMACK PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $6.21, down 7 pct premarket

The company said one of three patient groups in a mid-stage trial of its experimental lung cancer drug failed to meet the main goal of improving survival rates after four months of treatment without the disease worsening.

** UNIVERSAL DISPLAY CORP, Wednesday close $27.44, up 4 pct premarket

Needham & Co upgraded the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology provider’s stock to “buy” from “hold,” citing higher demand for Universal Display’s products driven by Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S4 smartphone.

“With the ramp in Samsung’s new S4, which we expect will drive demand for Universal Display’s green phosphorescent material, and growth in the broader OLED market, we believe management’s guidance for 45-55 percent growth in materials revenue in 2013 is reasonable,” Needham analyst James Ricchiuti wrote in a note.

** FINISAR CORP, Wednesday close $12.61, up 3.5 pct premarket

Lazard Capital Markets raised its rating on the network equipment maker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, saying the company’s datacom business, which accounts for 62 percent of sales, will benefit from large data center upgrade cycles at operators such as Apple, Amazon, and Google in the coming quarters.

** PANERA BREAD CO, Wednesday close $169.50, up 2.5 pct premarket

** BRINKER INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $37.70, up 2 pct premarket

Brokerage Goldman Sachs raised its ratings on both the restaurant chains’ stocks, citing improving consumer sentiment and continued job or wage growth, despite headwinds from the impact of the 2 percent payroll tax hike, higher gas prices, and delayed tax refunds.

** GREENBRIER COS INC, Wednesday close $21.80, down 2 pct premarket

The railcar maker, which has been benefiting from demand from the energy and auto industries in North America, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as overall deliveries fell, particularly in Europe.

** CARNIVAL CORP, Wednesday close $33.63, down 2 pct premarket

Strong winds caused the damaged Carnival cruise ship Triumph to break loose on Wednesday from its moorings at a Mobile, Alabama, shipyard where it was being repaired, a company spokesman said, and it drifted into a cargo vessel.

Last month, Carnival lowered its profit forecast primarily because of lost bookings and the cost of fixing the Triumph, which was adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for five days in February with more than 4,000 passengers aboard.

** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, Wednesday close $4.04, up 4 pct premarket

The solar panel maker signed a 360 million yuan ($58 million) loan agreement with China Development Bank and said it will use the financing to develop solar power plants in China.

The company said last December that its Swiss unit will get up to $1 billion over five years from the bank.($1 = 6.2010 Chinese yuan)

** NAVIDEA BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $2.55, up 7 pct premarket

The company said its cancer diagnostic agent was effective in identifying the first lymph node reached by the disease in patients with head and neck cancer, paving the way to expand its use in all solid cancers.

The company said a safety monitoring committee recommended that the trial be stopped early due to the positive results.

** RENESOLA LTD, Wednesday close $1.26, up 3 pct premarket

The Chinese solar panel maker signed a deal with Solairedirect SA to produce 120 megawatts (MW) of solar panels in South Africa, following in the footsteps of rival JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd.

JinkoSolar on Wednesday said it would supply 115 MW of solar panels to two projects in South Africa. The country has seen strong growth in clean energy investments as it looked to reduce carbon emissions and bolster electricity supply.

** MICROSOFT CORP, Wednesday’s close $28.56, down 0.3 pct premarket

BofA Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”, theflyonthewall.com reported.

** COMPUWARE CORP, Wednesday close $12.03, down 2.7 pct premarket

The business software maker estimated fourth-quarter results way below analysts estimates, citing delays in closing several deals.

** CAPLEASE INC, Wednesday close $6.15, down 3.7 pct premarket

The real estate investment trust said late on Wednesday that it was offering 6.5 million shares of its common stock. CapLease said it intends to use the proceeds to fund real property acquisitions.

** CENTURYLINK INC, Wednesday close $35.06, up 2 pct premarket

JP Morgan upgraded the rural telecom service provider’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral,” saying the company’s 6.2 percent dividend yield is sustainable and attractive compared to Verizon’s 4.2 percent and AT&T’s 4.8 percent.

Shares in CenturyLink fell sharply in February after the company said it was cutting its dividend by 25 percent and posted weaker-than-expected quarterly results.

** BROWN & BROWN INC, Wednesday close $30.84, up 1.5 pct premarket

Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the insurance broker to “neutral” from “sell”, flyonthewall.com reported.

** HARVEST NATURAL RESOURCES, Wednesday close $2.97, down 1.3 pct premarket

The oil and gas company said that its financial statements for 2010, 2011 and the first three quarters of 2012 should no longer be relied upon. (link.reuters.com/reb27t)

The company warned in March that some accounting errors might force it to restate results for certain periods in the past three years, raising doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern due to its liquidity position.

** CLEARWIRE CORP, Thursday close $3.28

Crest Financial Ltd, the largest minority shareholder in Clearwire, proposed a convertible debt financing plan aimed at making the wireless service provider less dependent on majority owner Sprint Nextel.

** MITCHAM INDUSTRIES INC, Wednesday close $16.43, down 2.6 pct premarket

The seismic equipment maker reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results due to project delays in Canada, Russia and Latin America. The hold-up in projects means a delay in leasing Mitcham’s equipment.

The company reported earnings of 26 cents per share and revenue of $28.4 million. Analysts on average expected the company to earn 40 cents per share, on revenue of $29.3 million.

** DISH NETWORK CORP, Wednesday close $36.67

Dish Network, controlled by billionaire chairman Charlie Ergen, has priced a debt offering of $2.3 billion, more than double the amount of debt than it said it would offer a day ago.

The company, which made a $2.3 billion bid to buy a minority stake in wireless service provider Clearwire Corp in January, said the proceeds of the debt offering could be used for “wireless and spectrum-related strategic transactions.”

** BOEING, Wednesday close $84.36

European planemaker Airbus looks set to challenge Boeing for top place in the order race in the first quarter after falling behind its U.S. rival in 2012, data showed on Thursday.

Swelled by a previously revealed $24 billion order from Indonesia’s Lion Air, Airbus reported 431 orders, up fourfold from the first three months of last year and well above the 193 orders Boeing registered for the period to March 26.

** DOMINION DIAMOND CORP , Wednesday close $15.72

The Toronto-based company, formerly Harry Winston Diamond Corp, on Wednesday reported an increase in fourth-quarter sales on rising demand in the United States, China and India.

** PFIZER INC, Wednesday close $29.03

A federal appeals court said the drugmaker should pay about $142 million to cover costs for the marketing and prescribing of epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses, a practice that has also earned it a hefty criminal fine.

** SMITH AND WESSON CORP, Wednesday close $8.55

** STURM RUGER & CO INC, Wednesday close $47.18

Connecticut lawmakers voted on Thursday to approve a new gun-control bill in response to last December’s shooting at a school in Newtown in which 20 children and six adults were killed. The new law would require background checks for private gun sales, ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips of the kind used at the Newtown shooting and require current owners of those large clips to register them with the state. (Compiled by Pallavi Ail in Bangalore,)

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