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U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday as continuous gridlock in Washington was likely to resume selling pressure in equities as there were no guarantees the federal government shutdown was about to end or that a historic debt default would be avoided. S&P 500 futures fell 11.3 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 97 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 12.75 points.
** FACEBOOK INC, Friday close $49.11, down 1 pct
The social networking company said it would buy start-up app-maker Onavo, the Israeli firm said on its website, without giving any details of the deal. Facebook is paying between $150 million and $200 million, the Calcalist financial news website reported, making it the social media company’s biggest acquisition in Israel.
** NETFLIX INC, Friday close $300.84, up 0.7 pct premarket
The company is in talks with several U.S. cable television companies including Comcast Corp and Suddenlink Communications to make its streaming video service available through their set-top boxes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.
** MERCK & CO INC, Friday close 47.29, down 1 pct premarket
The German drugs and healthcare group is in talks with external investors including private equity firms to share the cost of some clinical trials, the Financial Times reported, citing a senior manager at the company.
** ARCELORMITTAL SA, Friday close $14.91, up 2 pct premarket
Analysts at Macquarie Equities Research raised their rating on the world’s largest steelmaker’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** EXPEDIA INC, Friday close $51.73, down 2 pct premarket
Deutsche Bank cut its rating on the online travel agency’s stock to “hold” from “buy,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, Friday close $17.40
The company said it had temporarily shut down operations at its Metropolitan coal mine in Queensland, Australia, pre-empting a planned strike by workers after a stand-off over a new employment contract.
** TORONTO-DOMINION BANK, Friday close $89.35
The Canadian bank is considering an 8 billion pound ($13 billion) bid for Royal Bank of Scotland’s American retail banking business Citizens, The Sunday Times reported, without citing sources.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Friday close $35.35, down 1 pct premarket
** TESLA MOTORS INC, Friday close $178.70, up 1.6 pct premarket
General Motors will go head to head with electric car maker Tesla Motors starting in January, when a plug-in version of its luxury Cadillac brand will go on sale. GM said its 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in coupe will have a starting price of almost $76,000 including delivery fees - putting it in competition with the similarly priced Tesla Model S.
** SUPERIOR ENERGY SERVICES INC, Friday close $25.87
The oilfield services company said it expected third-quarter earnings to fall to between 39 cents and 41 cents per share from 59 cents a year earlier due to a slowdown in land drilling in the United States. Superior Energy also said its board authorized a share buyback program of up to $400 million.
** ARATANA THERAPEUTICS INC, Friday close $23.49
The pet medication products maker said it would buy privately-held Vet Therapeutics Inc in cash and stock to expand in products to treat lymphoma in dogs. The company will pay $30 million in cash and issue about 625,000 shares to buy Vet Therapeutics.
** THERAVANCE INC, Friday close $36.27
Cowen and Co analysts said a panel of respiratory experts at its Therapeutic Categories conference were enthusiastic about Theravance’s respiratory drugs, including Anoro, which they expect “will take significant share away from drugs such as Boehringer’s Spiriva.” The analysts said they now expected sales of Theravance and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s co-developed drugs, Breo and Anoro, to grow to $3 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, by 2018.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $4.26, down 0.7 pct after market
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating an increasing number of reports of serious and life-threatening adverse events in patients taking the company’s leukemia drug, Iclusig. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)