(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/nex49s) U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Wednesday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.21 percent at 16,333, S&P 500 futures were up 0.22 percent at 1,837 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.35 percent at 3,586.25.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Tuesday close $16.77, +2.33 pct premarket
The second-largest U.S. bank reported an eight-fold jump in fourth-quarter profit, driven by a steep fall in the bank’s provisions to cover bad loans.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Tuesday close $40.02, +0.85 pct premarket
The No. 1 U.S. automaker will pay the first quarterly dividend on its common stock in almost six years, marking another step in the U.S. auto maker’s recovery from its bankruptcy in 2009 and sending shares up 3.2 percent in after-hours trading.
** HANWHA SOLARONE CO LTD, Tuesday close $3.14, +6.69 pct premarket
The solar panel maker said it plans to set up a venture with Shanghai HuiTianRan Investment Holding Group to develop solar power plants in China. HuiTianRan will use panels manufactured by Hanwha SolarOne in its 700 megawatts (MW) of projects or select Hanwha SolarOne to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for these projects, Hanwha SolarOne said in a statement.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, Tuesday close $7.73, +5.56 pct premarket
The apparel retailer under pressure from investors to sell itself, reached out to at least two private equity firms as it explores strategic options, Bloomberg said on Tuesday, citing sources.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, Tuesday close $36.25, -4.00 pct premarket
The Chinese solar panel maker said late on Tuesday it would offer 2.75 million of its American Depository Shares and up to $100 million in convertible senior notes due 2019.
** MAGNA INTERNATIONAL INC , Tuesday close $84.18, -1.40 pct premarket
The Canadian auto parts maker forecast 2014 sales below analysts’ expectations due to lower revenue in its complete vehicle assembly business.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Tuesday close $99.12
Exxon Mobil reported a release of benzene due to an overhead stream flaring early Tuesday at its 503,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery, according to a filing with regulators.
** MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP, Tuesday close $89.1
A power outage on Tuesday caused excessive flaring at Marathon Petroleum’s 451,000-barrel-per-day Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery, local news website Galveston County The Daily News reported on Wednesday.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $546.39, +1.47 pct premarket
** GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $1,149.4, +0.38 pct premarket
Roughly 60,000 Silicon Valley workers won clearance to pursue a lawsuit accusing Apple, Google and other companies of conspiring to drive down pay by not poaching each other’s staff, after a federal appeals court refused to let the defendants appeal a class certification order.
** NETFLIX INC, Tuesday close $337.96, +0.00 pct premarket
** AMAZON.COM INC, Tuesday close $397.54, +0.61 pct premarket
** COMCAST CORP, Tuesday close $52.81
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Tuesday close $47.08, +0.25 pct premarket
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday rejected federal rules that required Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally, a decision that could allow mobile carriers and other broadband providers to charge content providers for faster access to websites and services.
** INTEL CORP, Tuesday close $26.51, +0.94 pct premarket
The chipmaker, hit by slumping personal computer sales, has put off opening a major chip factory that President Barack Obama once held up as an example of U.S. manufacturing potential.
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Tuesday close $94.72, +0.17 pct premarket
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears skeptical that data submitted by Johnson & Johnson proves its anticoagulant Xarelto is effective in reducing the risk of further heart problems in patients who have recently suffered a heart attack.
** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $35.4
Demand for chocolate is picking up, boosted by strong sales of gourmet products, the world’s biggest supplier to the industry said on Wednesday, as it blamed capacity constraints and a lull in outsourcing deals for slower growth in its sales volumes. Barry Callebaut, which makes chocolate for the likes of Nestle and Mondelez, said consumers in the Americas in particular were flocking to premium chocolates.
** ELBIT SYSTEMS, Tuesday close $61.46
The Israeli defense electronics company said it won a contract from the Ministry of Defense worth about $15 million to upgrade the Israeli air force’s C-130H Hercules transport aircraft. The contract will be carried out over two years, Elbit said in a statement.
** ENERSIS SA , Tuesday close $14.86, +6.73 pct after market
The Chilean energy company plans to offer to buy the shares of its Brazilian unit, Companhia Energetica do Ceara COCE5.SA, it does not already own in a deal it said would be worth around $645 million.
** HEARTWARE INTERNATIONAL INC Tuesday close $103.25, -8.09 pct after market
The medical device maker said it expected to report fourth-quarter revenue of about $53 million, below estimate of $58 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Heartware, which makes implantable heart pumps, also said revenue would grow 87 percent to $208 million in 2013. Analysts were expecting $213.3 million. (Compiled by Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore; Edited by Don Sebastian)