April 28, 2014 / 11:05 AM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Loews, Precision Drilling, Google, Apple, Merck

(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)

April 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.25 percent at 16,364, S&P 500 futures were up 0.25 percent at 1,864.8 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.24 percent at 3,539.

** PRECISION DRILLING CORP, Friday close $12.56

Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling contractor reported a 9 percent rise in first-quarter profit, helped by higher prices and strong drilling activity in North America and internationally.

** LOEWS CORP, Friday close $44.14

Hotel, energy and financial services conglomerate Loews Corp reported a 75 percent drop in quarterly profit as it booked a loss related to the pending sale of the annuity and pension deposit business of CNA Financial Corp.

** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, Friday close $130.01

The No. 4 U.S. cable company, reported a 15 percent jump in first-quarter revenue due to a rise in the number of residential video subscribers.

** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $50.97

Comcast said it would sell businesses resulting in a loss of 3.9 million video customers as part of its proposed $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc.

** APPLE INC, Friday close $571.94, +0.19 pct premarket

** GOOGLE INC, Friday close $523.1

A U.S. appeals court on Friday revived patent claims Apple made against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit that had been dismissed shortly before trial, giving the iPhone maker another chance to seek a sales ban against its smartphone competitor.

** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, Friday close $22.4

Wall Street's self-funded regulator is investigating the discount brokerage firm's history of stock order executions, leading to suspicions of rigged markets and high-frequency front-running, the New York Post reported on Sunday, citing sources. The Financial Regulatory Authority (Finra) is looking into whether its clients received the best pricing on their purchases, the New York Post added. (link.reuters.com/gud88v)

** PFIZER INC, Friday close $30.75, +0.94 pct premarket

The U.S. drugmaker is working on its next move in a potential $100-billion-bid battle for Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc after having two bids rejected, as deal-making grips the healthcare industry.

** MICROSOFT CORP, Friday close $39.91

The software giant is rushing to fix a bug in its widely used Internet Explorer web browser after a computer security firm disclosed the flaw over the weekend, saying hackers have already exploited it in attacks on some U.S. companies.

** MERCK & CO INC, Friday close $57.24

The pharmaceutical giant is in the final stages of selling its consumer healthcare unit for close to $14 billion, with Bayer AG and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc among final contenders to clinch a deal as soon as next week, people familiar with the matter said.

** HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP, Friday close $34.98

Japan’s Orix Corp has agreed to buy Hartford Financial Services Group’s Japanese unit for $895 million as part of efforts to expand its life insurance business in the world’s third-largest economy.

** WAL-MART STORES INC, Friday close $78.62

The U.S. retailer paid about $234 million in debt related to the purchase of a stake in its Indian joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, which Wal-mart ended in October last year, according to its 2014 annual report.

** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, Friday close $36

A federal judge on Friday approved the November settlement between the U.S. government and the airlines that merged to form American Airlines Group, the world’s biggest carrier.

** OMNICOM GROUP, Friday close $67.91

The chief executives of advertising companies Publicis and Omnicom Group are working together to resolve a seven-month-old struggle over who will be chief financial officer of their combined group if the $35 billion merger is completed, three people close to the deal said on Sunday.

** MYLAN INC, Friday close $52.1

Swedish drugmaker Meda has rejected an improved takeover offer from the U.S. generics firm, saying it was confident in its future as an independent company and its biggest shareholder did not support the bid.

** FORD MOTOR CO, Friday close $15.78

The No. 2 U.S. automaker posted a lower-than-expected first-quarter profit on Friday as it reported $400 million in higher warranty costs in North America.

** LIBERTY GLOBAL PLC, Friday close $40

The U.S. cable group’s bid for Dutch peer Ziggo is likely to face lengthy scrutiny by European Union antitrust regulators because of the complex issues involved, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

** CORNING INC, Friday close $20.74

The specialty glass maker’s first-quarter is expected to have been boosted by sales in China as more people bought television sets during the Lunar New Year. Analysts also expect Corning’s buyout of Samsung Display from a LCD glass joint venture with Samsung SDI in October to have added to quarterly profit.

** FRANKLIN RESOURCES INC, Friday close $12.46

The asset manager is expected to announce results for the three months ended March 31, its fiscal second quarter, before market opens. The San Mateo, California-based company is well-known for funds like the $71 billion Templeton Global Bond Fund, whose manager Michael Hasenstab has been standing by his Ukraine holdings despite ongoing turmoil there. But investors have been cool to emerging markets and analysts will pay attention to the company’s fund flow data. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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