(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 rose slightly on Monday. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.33 percent at 16,581, S&P 500 futures were up 0.39 percent at 1,880.7 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.56 percent at 3,568.
** PFIZER INC, Friday close $29.03, +0.55 pct premarket
The company defended the business case behind its plan to acquire AstraZeneca on Monday and questioned the UK drugmaker’s ability to stand alone for much longer as the New York-based group’s CEO prepared for a grilling from British lawmakers.
** APPLE INC, Friday close $585.5425, +0.46 pct premarket
The iPhone maker has cut in half the time it takes to give refunds to online store customers who want to return their iPhones and other gadgets, a small but crucial step to try to get more people to buy direct from its website.
The company’s plan to pay $3.2 billion for Beats Electronics, which makes headphones and has an up-and-coming streaming music service, may herald a bolder use of its swelling cash pile and galvanize Apple’s move into wearables.
** HILLSHIRE BRANDS CO, Friday close $36.95, +6.09 pct premarket
** PINNACLE FOODS INC, Friday close $30.45, +23.81 pct premarket
Packaged food company Hillshire Brands said it would acquire Pinnacle Foods for about $6.6 billion, including debt, in a cash and stock deal.
** SHIRE PLC, Friday close $168.15, +0.34 pct premarket
The London-listed drugmaker has bought San Diego-based biopharmaceutical firm Lumena Pharmaceuticals, a company with rare disease pipeline assets, for at least $260 million.
** NORDIC AMERICAN TANKERS LTD, Friday close $8.21
The tanker company posted a quarterly profit, helped by higher rates. Nordic American reported a net profit of 5 cents per share for the first quarter compared with a loss of 59 cents per share, a year earlier.
** SUNEDISON INC, Friday close $16.74
SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd IPO-SEMI.O, the semiconductor unit of the U.S. solar company, said it expected to price its initial public offering of 7.2 million shares at $13 to $15 per share.
** BP PLC, Friday close $50.56, +0.73 pct premarket
BP plans to invest $1.5 billion this year to increase its production of natural gas in Egypt, hit by an energy crisis following three years of political turmoil, the state news agency MENA said on Sunday.
** GULF RESOURCES INC, Friday close $1.78, +16.3 pct after market
The Chinese specialty chemicals and crude salt maker’s profit more than doubled in the first quarter, helped by 37 percent rise in revenue from its chemical products business. Gulf Resources’ quarterly profit rose to 11 cents per share in the quarter from 5 cents per share, a year earlier.
** TIME WARNER INC, Friday close $68.37
The company has held talks to acquire Fullscreen Inc, one of the popular YouTube video networks, a person with knowledge of the matter said, according to an article in Bloomberg on Saturday.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Friday close $34.23, +0.32 pct premarket
The U.S. automaker, already locked in a public relations crisis because of a deadly ignition defect that has triggered the recall of 2.6 million vehicles, has a new perception problem on its hands. The company is now considered the worst big automaker to deal with, according to a new survey of top suppliers to the car industry in the United States.
** ALLERGAN INC, Friday close $161.3
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Friday close $131.17
U.S. medical firm Allergan rejected the unsolicited takeover offer from Valeant, saying it substantially undervalued the company.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Friday close $157.2, +0.60 pct premarket
The U.S. investment bank may reward long-term investors as demand for its worldwide underwriting, trading and custodial services grows with the global economy, according to Barron‘s.
** CHINA MOBILE LTD, Friday close $48.16, +0.91 pct premarket
Investors can buy shares of the world’s biggest wireless company at a deep discount to international peers and get a 4 percent dividend while waiting for a turnaround, according to Barron‘s. In an article for release on Monday, Barron’s said China Mobile is a “cheap play” on Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant planning an initial public offering later this year.
** BIOGEN IDEC INC, Friday close $286.65
The company and partner Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB said they would donate hemophilia drugs for use in developing nations in quantities large enough to treat tens of thousands of patients over the next decade.
** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $51
The company is offering at least two Asian cellular operators access to its WiFi hot spots in the United States, in trial partnerships that illustrate the cable company’s ambitions to compete with U.S. wireless carriers.
** QUALCOMM INC, Friday close $79.5
The company is in advanced talks to buy Israeli chipmaker Wilocity, financial news website TheMarker reported on Sunday. Qualcomm has proposed to acquire Wilocity, which makes fast speed chips, for around $300 million but the two sides have yet to agree to terms of all the provisions of the sale, TheMarker said.
** IBM CORP, Friday close $190.08
The company is facing a “rocky time,” Chief Executive Virginia Rometty told the New York Times, but said she and the company now have a clear vision on how to pursue another generation of growth.
** NASDAQ OMX GROUP INC, Friday close $36.37
The company said Adena Friedman would rejoin it as president of global corporate and information technology solutions, reporting to Chief Executive Robert Greifeld. Friedman, who left Nasdaq in 2011, was most recently chief financial officer of private equity firm Carlyle Group LP.
** ORACLE CORP, Friday close $41.04
** GOOGLE INC, Friday close $526.62
Oracle won a legal victory against Google on Friday as a U.S. appeals court decided Oracle could copyright parts of the Java programming language, which Google used to design its Android smartphone operating system.
** ELI LILLY AND CO, Friday close $59.36
A judge in Brazil fined Eli Lilly and a unit of Italy’s ACS Dobfar 1 billion reais ($450 million) and ordered a chemical plant temporarily closed for poisoning workers, Brazilian federal labor prosecutors said on Friday.
** AMGEN INC, Friday close $111.4825
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, Friday close $77.24, +0.92 pct premarket
An antibody drug under development by Amgen and AstraZeneca Plc met the goals of a Phase 3 study in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, the companies said on Friday.
** KELLOGG CO, Friday close $67.21
The company has agreed to stop using terms such as “All Natural” and “100% Natural” on some of its Kashi and Bear Naked brand product labels and to pay more than $5 million to settle a class-action consumer fraud lawsuit.
** ZALE CORP, Friday close $21.85
The company’s shareholder TIG Advisors LLC opposed the jeweler’s proposed merger with Signet Jewelers Ltd, calling the $21 million offer inadequate and unfair to Zale stockholders. (Compiled by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)