(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for more market insights, including options activity, ; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index e-mini futures fell on Thursday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.26 percent at 17,049, S&P 500 futures were down 0.26 percent at 1,991.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.23 percent at 4,063.25.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Wednesday close $44.87, -0.18 pct premarket
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is set to visit China in late September, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, as the Chinese government conducts an antitrust investigation into the world’s largest software company.
** DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, Wednesday close $63.7, -1.10 pct premarket
** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC, Wednesday close $79.8
** DOLLAR TREE INC, Wednesday close $53.56
Dollar General said it remained committed to acquiring rival Family Dollar Stores and reported a 7.5 percent rise in quarterly sales.
Family Dollar last week rejected a $9 billion buyout offer from Dollar General that it said could run foul of competition law, opting instead for a smaller bid from Dollar Tree.
** MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY INC, Wednesday close $47.66
British chipmaker CSR, which makes technology used in headphones and speaker docks, said it had rejected a takeover approach from Microchip Technology.
“The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the board is considering its options for the company,” CSR said in a short statement on Thursday.
** WORKDAY INC, Wednesday close $90.3, +0.94 pct premarket
Workday reported a better-than-expected 74 percent rise in quarterly revenue due to strong growth in subscriptions for its Web-based human resources and financial management software, and the company raised its full-year revenue forecast.
** LEAR CORP, Wednesday close $98.11
The maker of auto seats and electrical power systems said it would buy automotive leather supplier Eagle Ottawa LLC for $850 million to strengthen its core seating business and boost its luxury seats portfolio.
** INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP, Wednesday close $192.25
IBM on Wednesday launched a computer system that can quickly identify patterns in massive amounts of data, an ability that IBM said should hasten breakthroughs in science and medical research.
The computer system, Watson Discovery Advisor, understands chemical compound interaction and human language and can visually map out connections in data, the company said in a statement.
** TYSON FOODS INC, Wednesday close $37.71
** HILLSHIRE BRANDS CO, Wednesday close $62.96
The largest U.S. meat processor on Wednesday won U.S. antitrust approval for its $8.5 billion purchase of Hillshire Brands.
To win approval for the merger, the companies agreed to sell Heinold Hog Markets, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The attorneys general of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, all big hog-producing states, joined the settlement.
** PEABODY ENERGY, Wednesday close $15.97
The U.S. coal producer has pulled the $130 million sale of its Australian Wilkie Creek mine to former billionaire Nathan Tinkler, appearing to dash the young entrepreneur’s hopes of a coal comeback.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $34.71
General Motors and the United Auto Workers on Wednesday trumpeted the news that production of the Cadillac SRX would be shifted from Mexico to Tennessee, but Reuters has learned that GM also plans to move some other assembly work in the opposite direction.
General Motors will partly offset that by moving some Chevrolet Equinox manufacturing from Tennessee to Mexico, an industry source told Reuters.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $102.13, -0.33 pct premarket
A U.S. judge rejected Apple’s latest bid for a permanent injunction against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in another sign of the diminishing impact of the smartphone patent wars.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Wednesday close $53.64, +0.02 pct premarket
Dow Chemical has kicked off processes to sell two of its specialty chemicals subsidiaries that could fetch close to $2 billion combined, according to people familiar with the matter, part of its effort to divest several billion dollars worth of non-core assets by 2015.
** AMERICAN APPAREL INC, Wednesday close $0.984, +4.67 pct premarket
Private equity firm Lion Capital LLP has told American Apparel that it is exercising its right to fill one of the two vacant board seats it controls at the apparel retailer, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, Wednesday close $147.11
The No. 2 U.S. cable operator suffered a massive network outage on Wednesday due to suspected human error that cut Internet services to some 11 million businesses and residences, prompting a New York state investigation.
** INTERMUNE INC, Wednesday close $73.18, -0.12 pct premarket
Roche Holding AG’s planned $8 billion purchase of InterMune is centered around hopes for blockbuster sales of its lung drug, but the smaller company’s development pipeline may end up giving the Swiss drugmaker a far bigger bang for its buck.
** REPROS THERAPEUTICS INC, Wednesday close $18.21, +12.25 pct premarket
** ABBVIE INC, Wednesday close $55.7
Repros Therapeutics said its experimental drug to treat low testosterone was superior to a leading marketed gel and a placebo in the first of two identical studies.
Patients who were given the drug, Androxal, experienced superiority in sperm concentration compared with those who used Abbvie’s AndroGel, said the company. The company said the proportion of subjects responding to Androxal were greater than the proportion responding to both the approved topical gel and placebo. The results of the second study have not yet been released.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $116.71
Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor William Ackman won their request for an expedited trial on Wednesday over the timing of a special meeting of Allergan Inc shareholders, a key to their $50 billion hostile takeover fight.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, Wednesday close $48.67, +0.53 pct premarket
An experimental Ebola vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline is being fast-tracked into human studies and the company plans to build a stockpile of up to 10,000 doses for emergency deployment, if results are good.
** CME GROUP INC, Wednesday close $76.46
CME Group’s 49-year-old chief financial officer will retire at the end of the year and will be replaced by an executive who is a year older, the world’s largest futures exchange operator said on Wednesday. (Compiled by Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Edited by Maju Samuel)