(Corrects spelling of Combimatrix in headline) U.S. stock index futures advanced on Tuesday a day after the S&P 500 suffered its biggest drop in two months as investors prepared for retail sales data and the first round of earnings from major banks. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.20 percent at 16,246, S&P 500 futures were up 0.12 percent at 1,817.2 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.22 percent at 3,517.25.
** WELLS FARGO & CO, Monday close $45.56, -0.46 pct premarket
The biggest U.S. mortgage lender reported an 11 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, helped by the elimination of thousands of jobs in its home-loan business in the second half of the year.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Monday close $57.7, +0.29 pct premarket
The biggest U.S. bank by assets reported a 7.3 percent drop in quarterly profit after it paid penalties to the government for not reporting suspicions of fraud by Ponzi-scheming client Bernie Madoff.
** COMBIMATRIX CORP Monday close $2.88, +10.42 pct premarket
The clinical diagnostic laboratory said it would provide its chromosomal microarray analysis testing for miscarriage analysis for pathology services provider ProPath.
** NAUTILUS INC, Monday close $8.27, +12.45 pct premarket
Brokerage D.A. Davidson & Co raised its price target on the fitness equipment provider’s stock to $10 from $9 and maintained its “buy” rating after the company estimated fourth-quarter results above Wall Street’s expectations.
** STRATASYS LTD, Monday close $130, -5.48 pct premarket
The 3D printer maker estimated full-year adjusted profit way below Wall Street estimates as it warned expenses would rise significantly in 2014.
** VIVUS INC, Monday close $9.03, +2.10 pct premarket
Vivus said it collaborated with health insurer Aetna Inc to introduce its weight-loss drug Qsymia into a program designed to evaluate the benefits of prescription drugs when combined with lifestyle support for weight loss. The program, which will run through the year, is expected to provide insight on health outcomes, workplace productivity and the potential for reductions in medical costs, Vivus said in a statement.
** GALENA BIOPHARMA, Monday close $7.24, +2.90 pct premarket
The company said it licensed commercial rights of its experimental cancer vaccine NeuVax in India to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. Galena will receive development and sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on net sales of the drug.
** AMERIGAS PARTNERS LP, Monday close $44.63, -5.44 pct premarket
The propane gas distributor said late on Monday that an affiliate of Energy Transfer Partners LP has begun a public offering of 8 million AmeriGas shares it owns. AmeriGas bought Energy Transfer Partners’s propane business for $2.8 billion in October 2011.
** RAIT FINANCIAL TRUST, Monday close $8.78, -4.21 pct premarket
The real estate investment trust said it had commenced an offering of 10 million common shares. The company plans to use the proceeds of the offering for investments and general trust purposes.
** UNITED BANKSHARES INC, Monday close $29.77, +0.77 pct premarket
Guggenheim Securities raised its price target on the stock to $32 from $30, saying it expected low single-digit loan growth at the lender in the fourth quarter and the addition of about $2.1 billion of loans after the acquisition of Virginia Commerce Bancorp Inc closes in the first quarter of 2014. Guggenheim maintained its “neutral” rating on the stock.
** TARGET CORP, Monday close $61.5
Democratic lawmakers called on Monday for a congressional inquiry into the hacking of credit and debit card data of tens of millions of customers of No. 3 U.S. retailer Target Corp during the holiday shopping season.
** GOOGLE INC, Monday close $1,122.98, +1.40 pct premarket
Google took its biggest step to go deeper into consumers’ homes, announcing a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc, scooping up a promising line of products and a prized design team led by the “godfather” of the iPod.
** APPLE INC, Monday close $535.73, +0.44 pct premarket
Apple lost a bid on Monday to block an antitrust monitor appointed after a judge found that the company had conspired to fix e-book prices.
** NASDAQ OMX GROUP, Monday close $39.15
** MCGRAW HILL FINANCIAL INC, Monday close $76.63
Exchange operator Nasdaq and index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices said they are interested in acquisitions to grow their index businesses, in a sign the sector could see a wave of deals as investors pour tens of billions of dollars into portfolios that track benchmarks.
** FOREST LABORATORIES INC, Monday close $67.73
Hungarian drugmaker Richter has dismissed as “entirely unrealistic” market speculation that U.S. peer Forest Laboratories might consider it as a potential takeover target.
** YUM BRANDS INC, Monday close $73.41, -0.83 pct premarket
Yum Brands on Monday said December sales at established restaurants in China, its top market, rose a smaller-than-expected 2 percent after weakness at its Pizza Hut Casual Dining chain weighed on a recovery at KFC, which is recovering from a food safety scare and avian flu worries.
** TIME WARNER CABLE, Monday close $132.4, +1.59 pct premarket
** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, Monday close $134.22
Charter Communications on Monday formally offered to acquire larger rival Time Warner Cable for $37.3 billion, sparking what is likely to be a contentious battle for control of the No. 2 U.S. cable operator.
** ACTAVIS PLC, Monday close $181.29
** MYLAN INC, Monday close $45.24
** PFIZER INC, Monday close $30.54
Drugmakers Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc , Actavis and Mylan have all expressed interest in buying Pfizer Inc’s branded generics business, but no active discussions are going on at this time, according to three people close to the matter.
** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Monday close $268.68
U.S. based-Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Germany’s Bayer AG said they would co-develop an antibody for use in combination with Eylea, their treatment for a form of age-related blindness.
** ELI LILLY, Monday close $52.07
Danish biotech company Genmab has entered into a research collaboration with U.S. pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly involving its DuoBody technology platform.
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, Monday close $6.52, +2.76 pct premarket
The Chinese company said its solar panels would be sold in the high-margin Japanese market by XSOL Co Ltd from mid January.
** BENCHMARK ELECTRONICS INC, Monday close $22.51, +3.07 pct premarket
The electronic manufacturing services provider said late on Monday it expected to report fourth-quarter results above the high end of its forecast range. The company said in October it expected fourth-quarter earnings of 34 cents-38 cents per share, excluding items, on sales of $685 million-$715 million. Analysts on average expected earnings of 36 cents per share on revenue of $701.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** KBR INC, Monday close $31.92
Brokerage Jefferies & Co lowered its price target on the stock of the engineering and construction company to $38 from $43 as it expects the company’s backlog to decline modestly in 2014. (Compiled by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)