February 24, 2014 / 2:28 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-Triquint, Jos A Bank, eBay, Pfizer, Armstrong, Shanda Games

(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 edged higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 within points of its record high, though investors may have few reasons to push shares decisively above that level. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.07 percent at 16,104, S&P 500 futures were up 0.25 percent at 1,838.8 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.26 percent at 3,674.

** APPLE INC, Friday close $525.25, -0.19 pct premarket

A major flaw in Apple software for mobile devices could allow hackers to intercept email and other communications that are meant to be encrypted, the company said on Friday, and experts said Mac computers were even more exposed.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Friday close $9.14, +3.94 pct premarket

The handset maker said it would make its messaging service, BBM, available to Microsoft’s Windows Phone and the upcoming Nokia X platforms in the coming months.

** TRIQUINT SEMICONDUCTOR INC, Friday close $9.23, +21.99 pct premarket

** RF MICRO DEVICES INC, Friday close $5.81, +16.87 pct premarket

Radio frequency chipmaker RF Micro Devices will buy peer TriQuint Semiconductor for about $1.6 billion in an all-stock deal to create a company that could better compete in selling chips to mobile-handset makers.

** MEN‘S WEARHOUSE INC, Friday close $45.11, +5.96 pct premarket

** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, Friday close $55.05, +7.81 pct premarket

Men’s Wearhouse Inc raised its offer for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers by over 10 percent, nearly two weeks after its smaller rival looked to fend off the unsolicited bid by agreeing to acquire Eddie Bauer.

Men’s Wearhouse raised its cash tender offer to Jos. A. Bank shareholders to $63.50 per share, from $57.50, and added it could increase the offer to $65.00 if it was able to conduct limited due diligence.

** EBAY INC, Friday close $54.59, +1.37 pct premarket

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn accused eBay Chief Executive John Donahoe of failing to spot - or ignoring - conflicts of interest on the company’s board and called again for the spinoff of its fast-growing PayPal division.

Icahn, who also disclosed a 2.15 percent stake in the e-commerce giant, said in a letter to eBay shareholders on Monday that he had found “multiple lapses in corporate governance” that “could put the future of the company in peril.”

** PFIZER INC, Friday close $31.46, +2.10 pct premarket

The drugmaker said Prevenar 13, a drug widely used to prevent infection in children, showed in a study of 85,000 people that it prevented community-acquired pneumonia in individuals age 65 and older.

** SHANDA GAMES LTD, Friday close $6.77, +4.87 pct premarket

Alibaba is planning to buy the Chinese online game developer's main business for at least $3.2 billion, BrightWire News reported, citing a source in Shanda. (r.reuters.com/gud27v)

Shanda received a buyout offer in January from its controlling shareholders who valued the company at $1.9 billion.

** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, Friday close $6.44, +6.52 pct premarket

The company said two of its cancer compounds demonstrated anti-tumour activity in multiple animal trials.

** ARMSTRONG WORLD INDUSTRIES INC, Friday close $59.27, -7.04 pct premarket

The company, which makes floors and ceilings, reported a fourth-quarter profit well below analysts’ estimates as costs rose 10.5 percent.

** NOKIA CORP, Friday close $7.46, +0.54 pct premarket

** MICROSOFT CORP, Friday close $37.98, -0.92 pct premarket

** GOOGLE INC, Friday close $1,203.79

The handset maker soon to be acquired by Microsoft is turning to software created by arch-rival Google for a new line of phones it hopes will make it a late contender in the dynamic low-cost smartphone market.

** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, Friday close $26.57, +1.05 pct premarket

The natural gas producer said it was pursuing strategic alternatives for its oilfield services division, including an outright sale or a potential spinoff to Chesapeake shareholders.

** CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG, Friday close $31.47

The Zurich-based bank agreed on Friday to pay $196.5 million and admit wrongdoing to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it provided cross-border brokerage and investment advisory services to U.S. clients without first registering with the regulator.

** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, Friday close $37.77, +2.94+2.75 pct premarket

The solar company said it would supply 18 megawatts of panels to Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd for a power project. In a separate deal, Canadian Solar said it would supply panels to privately held Strata Solar to power five power projects in North Carolina totaling 30 megawatts

Analysts at JP Morgan Securities began their coverage of Canadian Solar’s stock with an “overweight” rating and a price target of $50, citing the company’s project pipeline for this year, which could push margins high. Canadian Solar’s profit is likely to rise four-fold to $4.31 per share this year on an 87 percent rise in revenue, the analysts wrote in a note to clients.

** GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INC, Friday close $12.11, +7.84 pct premarket

The solar and LED equipment maker said it could turn profitable in the second half of this year, after reporting a smaller-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. The company, which will open a manufacturing facility in Arizona to make sapphire materials for Apple Inc’s electronics devices, said about 80 percent of its revenue in 2014 will come from the sapphire business, which makes materials used to manufacture LED chips.

** HUMANA INC, Friday close $102.82, +1.60 pct premarket

** AETNA INC, Friday close $70.43, +0.00 pct premarket

** UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC, Friday close $73.81, +0.26 pct premarket

The U.S. government proposed on Friday a cut in payments to private health insurers for 2015 Medicare Advantage plans, a move Republican lawmakers said would hurt benefits for the elderly and disabled.

** ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS, Friday close $181.52, +0.31 pct premarket

The biopharmaceuticals company focused on rare diseases said the European Commission granted orphan drug designation to Soliris, its drug to cure a complication that causes a transplanted kidney to fail. The drug was granted orphan drug status in the United States last month.

** AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $28.76, +1.98 pct premarket

The specialty biopharmaceuticals company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted the marketing application for its drug to treat multiple palpable cords, a painful condition that causes fingers to bent towards the palm. The agency is expected to announce its decision by Oct. 20.

The drug, Xiaflex, is already approved in the United States, European Union, Canada and Australia to treat Peyronie’s disease, a chronic swelling deformity in the penis.

** DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC, Friday close $51.01

The restaurant chain operator’s plan to spin off its Red Lobster chain should be put to a shareholder vote, activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP said.

In December, Darden said it would spin off or sell the floundering Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from hedge fund Barington Capital Group

** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, Friday close $24.94, +0.44 pct premarket

The conglomerate plans to intensify research focusing on complex energy projects such as waterless fracking and gas turbine efficiency by earmarking an additional $10 billion through 2020 for its “ecoimagination” budget. The new spending is set to be announced by Chief Executive Jeff Immelt on Monday.

** LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP, Friday close $80.89, +0.58 pct premarket

The casino operator’s Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson said on Monday his company was willing to spend “whatever it takes” to set up a casino project in Japan, one of the largest untapped gaming markets in the world. Las Vegas Sands is considered a strong candidate to win a license in Japan, should the country open its market to casino gambling.

** SINA CORP, Friday close $72.95, +6.24 pct premarket

The online media firm has hired Credit Suisse AG and Goldman Sachs for a U.S. initial public offering worth about $500 million of its Sina Weibo microblogging service, a source familiar with the plans said on Monday.

** NETFLIX, Friday close $432.23, +1.21 pct premarket

** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $51.05, +1.27 pct premarket

The online video subscription firm has agreed to pay one of the largest broadband providers in the United States Comcast for faster speeds, throwing open the possibility that more content companies will have to shell out for better service. Comcast and Netflix made the joint announcement on Sunday, marking the first time that Netflix is paying for faster speeds in the U.S. after customers complained about slow service.

In another development, the production company behind Netflix’s political thriller “House of Cards” is taking a step that could have come straight from the show’s script: threatening to move filming from Maryland unless lawmakers provide enough tax breaks.

** UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Friday close $115.38, -0.31 pct premarket

Turkey signed a deal worth $3.5 billion on Friday to buy helicopters from the company’s Sikorsky Aircraft unit, finalizing an order originally agreed upon in 2011, the prime minister said. The agreement includes options that analysts say could result in billions of dollars of additional orders over the next three decades.

** VALERO ENERGY CORP, Friday close $50.23

The refiner plans to begin the overhaul of a crude distillation unit and gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit at its 180,000 barrel-per-day Memphis, Tennessee, refinery in the first 10 days of April, sources said on Friday.

** ENDO HEALTH SOLUTIONS INC, Friday close $78.45

The drugmaker will pay $193 million to resolve civil and criminal allegations of unlawful marketing of the pain treatment Lidoderm, the U.S. Justice Department and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Friday.

** AU OPTRONICS CORP, Friday close $3.18

Innolux Corp, the world’s No.3 flat-panel maker, declined to rule out a potential merger with smaller rival AU Optronics, but a fund manager said such a potential merger may not be realized soon. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore, Editing by Don Sebastian)

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