(For more market insights, including options activity, click on STXNEWS/US; for the Day Ahead newsletter http:) U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday as investors shifted their focus from the Turkish central bank’s bold interest-rate hike to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s impending decision later in the day on its monthly bond-buying program. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.48 percent at 15,800, S&P 500 futures were down 0.63 percent at 1,777 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.66 percent at 3,478.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $137.09, -3.82 pct premarket
The planemaker posted a 26 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped by a rise in commercial aircraft deliveries.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Tuesday close $43.06, +6.83 pct premarket
The largest U.S. chemical maker by sales raised its dividend 15 percent and expanded its share buyback program to $4.5 billion from $1.5 billion after posting a fourth-quarter profit.
** SOTHEBY‘S, Tuesday close $48.88, +6.59 pct premarket
The auction house will pay investors a special dividend and buy back shares, months after activist investor Daniel Loeb called for a management shakeup.
** GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $1,123.01
The company and EU regulators are close to settling a three-year antitrust investigation into the company’s suspected anti-competitive behavior after it offered improved concessions to allay competition concerns, two sources said. A settlement under the European Commission’s antitrust rules means Google will escape a possible fine of as much as $5 billion.
** MEDIVATION INC, Tuesday close $75.78, +16.79 pct premarket
The company’s drug for advanced prostate cancer significantly delayed progression of the disease and extended survival in a large, late stage study of patients who had not yet received chemotherapy, likely paving the way for an expanded approval of the medicine.
** ELECTRONIC ARTS INC, Tuesday close $24.87, +2.53 pct premarket
The videogame publisher raised its full-year earnings forecast for the year, driven by strong cost control measures. It now sees non-GAAP income of $1.30 per share, compared with its previous forecast of $1.22.
At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** HESS CORP, Tuesday close $76.8, -1.68 pct premarket
The company reported a quarterly profit well below Wall Street expectations as oil and natural gas production lagged due to instability in Libya and maintenance in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
** TUPPERWARE BRANDS CORP, Tuesday close $83.77, -5.69 pct premarket
The kitchen storage container maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly results hurt by weak sales in established markets such as Germany, United States and Canada.
** ROCKWELL AUTOMATION INC, Tuesday close $115.01, +3.03 pct premarket
The industrial automation company lifted the lower end of its 2014 forecast after reporting a 23 percent jump in first-quarter profit due to sales increases in Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States.
** EMC CORP, Tuesday close $25.38, -2.29 pct premarket
The world’s largest data storage equipment maker, forecast current-quarter results below analysts’ estimates.
** BIOGEN IDEC INC, Tuesday close $305.65, +0.11 pct premarket
The company said its new, high-profile oral multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera had sales of $398 million in the fourth quarter, easily exceeding estimates for a third successive quarter and keeping it on track to top $1 billion in its first year on the market.
** PRAXAIR INC, Tuesday close $125.7, +0.37 pct premarket
The largest industrial gas supplier in the Americas raised its dividend by 8 percent and set another $1.5 billion share buyback plan, after its quarterly profit rose due to strong sales and acquisitions.
** WELLPOINT INC, Tuesday close $84.3, -1.54 pct premarket
the second-largest U.S. health insurer reported a lower quarterly profit as it took a charge for the sale of its contact lens business and consumers increased their use of medical services as they faced the loss of health plans at the end of 2013.
** CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY, Tuesday close $141.86, +1.51 pct premarket
Canada’s second largest railway reported a five-fold jump in fourth-quarter profit, as freight revenue rose 7 percent.
** MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP, Tuesday close $83.17, +0.40 pct premarket
The third-largest stand-alone U.S. refining company posted a 17 percent drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday due to shrinking crude discounts and rising maintenance costs.
** OMEROS CORP, Tuesday close $11.23, +9.08 pct premarket
The company said data from a mid-stage study of its cognitive disorder drug showed that the drug’s tolerability was not affected when used in combination with antipsychotic medicines. Omeros said the drug could be developed as a single therapy or be tested along with other antipsychotic medicines in further studies on schizophrenia patients.
** AIR METHODS CORP, Tuesday close $51.39, -5.82 pct premarket
The air ambulance service provider estimated fourth-quarter earnings below analysts’ expectations and said it would incur $2.4 million in pretax charges during. The company also said patient transports in the quarter decreased compared with the prior year.
** NATUS MEDICAL INC, Tuesday close $24.09, +3.11 pct premarket
The company reported fourth-quarter results above analysts’ estimates, helped by higher-than-expected international sales of its neurology and newborn care products. Natus also raised its 2014 adjusted earnings forecast to the range of $1.14-$1.18 per share from the $1.12-$1.16 it earlier expected.
** BLYTH INC, Tuesday close $9.25, +19 pct after market
Direct seller CVSL Inc said on Tuesday that it has liquidated its remaining stake in the candle maker.
Blyth rejected CVSL’s unsolicited acquisition proposal in November.
** EZCORP INC, Tuesday close $9.35, +15.51 pct premarket
The pawn and payday lender reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit helped by higher merchandise sales in the United States and Canada. Merchandise sales rose 12 percent to $105.6 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
** AT&T INC, Tuesday close $33.7, -2.28 pct premarket
The telecom company’s fourth-quarter wireless subscriber growth and its free cash flow target lagged well behind analyst estimates. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said a U.S. spying scandal was hurting the company’s business.
At least one brokerage cut its rating on the stock.
** FORD MOTOR CO, Tuesday close $15.72, -0.89 pct premarket
The company reported higher-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday as earnings in its core North American market fell less steeply than Wall Street expected, but declining vehicle prices there raised concerns about 2014.
Ford joined a growing number of multinational companies expressing concern that economic turmoil in Venezuela and Argentina could spell trouble for 2014 profits. High inflation in the two countries, along with concern about how their governments will try to steady their economies has Ford rethinking its annual forecasts for South America.
** PFIZER INC, Tuesday close $30.42, -0.23 pct premarket
The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, helped by higher sales of drugs for cancer, nerve pain and arthritis, and forecast 2014 earnings in line with Wall Street estimates.
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Tuesday close $47.36, -0.65 pct premarket
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, Tuesday close $37.17, -0.19 pct premarket
Shareholders of both Vodafone and Verizon approved Verizon’s $130 billion takeover of their Verizon Wireless venture on Tuesday, paving the way for the third-biggest deal in corporate history.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Tuesday close $74.67, +0.84 pct premarket
The U.S. retailer said it will upgrade its vendor compliance process in China, requiring more documentation and making use of a computer-based system to help suppliers manage associated paperwork.
** CIRRUS LOGIC INC, Tuesday close $18.74, -5 pct after market
The company, whose audio chips are used in Apple’s iPhones and iPads, forecast current-quarter revenue that missed analysts’ average estimate.
** VMWARE INC, Tuesday close $94.94, -1.52 pct premarket
The virtualization software maker reported a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit helped by higher revenue from license sales.
At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES LTD, Tuesday close $65.93, +3.14 pct premarket
The computer security specialist topped fourth-quarter profit and revenue forecasts and said it sees growth continuing into 2014 on strong demand for high-end products that protect data centers.
** AMGEN INC, Tuesday close $120.7, +2.4 pct after market
The world’s biggest biotechnology company on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street forecasts as it gained full control of its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and recorded solid growth in sales of newer products. The company also announced another positive result from a late-stage study of its high-profile experimental cholesterol drug, evolocumab.
At least four brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** YAHOO INC, Tuesday close $38.22, -4.60 pct premarket
The company’s online ad prices slid again in the fourth quarter and Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant in which it owns a big stake, saw revenue growth decelerate from its recent rip-roaring pace. Overall revenue fell 6 percent in the last three months of the year, the company said.
At least two brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.
** QUALCOMM INC, Tuesday close $71.99, -0.54 pct premarket
The world’s biggest cellphone chip maker may be hit with a record fine exceeding $1 billion in a Chinese antitrust probe, raising the specter of harsh penalties for foreign firms facing an increasingly aggressive regulator.
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES, Tuesday close $44.1, +2.97 pct premarket
Teva’s shares open higher after the company said U.S. regulators approved its three-times-a-week multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. The world’s largest generics drugmaker has been banking on a three-times-a-week version of Copaxone ahead of possible competition from generic rivals of the drug this year. (Compiled by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)