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U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Wednesday ahead of a slew of data and corporate earnings, after the S&P 500 eked a tiny gain at the close a day earlier following three sessions of declines spurred by worries over the global economy. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures were down 0.68 percent at 16,144, S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.88 percent at 1,858.25 and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were down 0.77 percent at 3,782.5.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Tuesday close $16.52, +0.73 pct premarket
The No. 2 U.S. bank by assets reported a small quarterly loss applicable to common shareholders on Wednesday, largely due its record $16.65 billion mortgage settlement with the U.S. government in August.
** SHIRE PLC, Tuesday close $244.57, -25.87 pct premarket
** ABBVIE INC, Tuesday close $54.13, -3.93 pct premarket
** ASTRAZENECA, Tuesday close $69.81, -2.59 pct premarket
Chicago-based AbbVie said it was reconsidering its $55 billion takeover of Shire Plc weeks after the U.S. government moved to curb deals designed to reduce tax, wiping $13 billion off the London-listed firm’s stock price.
Shares in Shire’s larger rival AstraZeneca, which had rebuffed its own takeover deal by U.S. group Pfizer fell while replacement knees and hips maker Smith & Nephew , which had also been touted as a target, also slipped.
AbbVie’s announcement appears to have caught hedge funds off-guard and largely long on the London-listed pharma company.
** INTEL CORP, Tuesday close $32.14, -0.96 pct premarket
The chipmaker gave a current-quarter revenue forecast above expectations and said the supply chain was in good shape ahead of holiday season as demand for personal computers recovered.
The recovering PC industry has helped push Intel’s shares 24 percent higher in 2014, making it the top performer in the Dow Jones industrial average.
Intel’s results underscore challenge in mobile
** BLACKROCK INC, Tuesday close $306.74
The world’s largest asset manager said on Wednesday that its assets under management had increased 10 percent in the third quarter. The company also reported net income of $917 million, or $5.37 per share, up 26 percent from $730 million, or $4.21 per share, a year earlier.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Tuesday close $32.24, +2.36 pct premarket
** EMC CORP, Tuesday close $27.61
Hewlett-Packard has ended merger talks with EMC and may announce this development as soon as Wednesday, deciding to walk away after months of fruitless negotiations, people briefed on the matter told Reuters.
** CSX CORP, Tuesday close $32.61
The No. 3 U.S. railroad reported a rise in third-quarter profit, beating forecasts and predicting double-digit growth for 2015 as it moved more freight on its network due to a growing U.S. economy.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that CSX had rebuffed a takeover bid from No. 2 Canadian railroad Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
** COMCAST CORP, Tuesday close $51.47
The largest U.S. cable operator’s NBC Nightly News reclaimed the No. 1 spot as the most watched prime time news program for the week of Sept. 29, according to Nielsen data. The show reclaimed its spot after TV rating company Nielsen NV fixed a mistake that affected seven months of data.
** STATOIL, Tuesday close $24, -3.92 pct premarket
The Norwegian state-controlled oil firm’s long-serving Chief Executive Helge Lund unexpectedly quit on Wednesday to take on the top role at BG Group where he has been promised a big rise in pay if he can turn the flagging British gas firm around.
Lund transformed Norway’s once domestic-focused oil firm into a $77 billion international major.
For a breakingviews column,
** QUALCOMM INC, Tuesday close $71.86, -0.47 pct premarket
The company has agreed to buy chip maker CSR Plc for $2.5 billion, pushing out its rival Microchip Technology to win the British Bluetooth specialist which is growing in areas like automotive and wearable devices.
** RIO TINTO, Tuesday close $50.79
The world’s No. 2 iron ore miner Rio Tinto said a strong third quarter and productivity gains led to a 12 percent rise in iron ore production as price volatility persists in the global market.
** ASML HOLDING NV, Tuesday close $92.71, -1.47 pct premarket
The Dutch semiconductor equipment supplier blamed delayed shipments as it brushed off weaker-than-expected quarterly sales on Wednesday, confirming its full-year target and forecasting a strong start to 2015.
Hard to predict when clients to add more high-end capacity
** CARNIVAL CORP, Tuesday close $34.64, +0.92 pct premarket
China, the world’s largest shipbuilder, is looking to build its first luxury cruise vessel, with help from the cruise operator and Italian shipyard Fincantieri SpA, as the country looks to expand domestic tourism.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE, Tuesday close $43.68
The company is seeking binding bids by next month for a range of older drugs worth more than $3 billion, which it is likely to sell by geographical region, according to people with direct knowledge of the process.
** TOYOTA MOTOR, Tuesday close $111.62
The Japanese carmaker said on Wednesday it would recall a total 1.67 million vehicles globally in a voluntary move to address three separate defects including a faulty brake master cylinder that could hinder the brake’s performance.
** ANN INC, Tuesday close $36.79
The women’s apparel retailer said it had entered into a confidentiality agreement with private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, a month after some hedge funds pushed the company to sell itself.
** UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Tuesday close $100.12
The Pentagon on Tuesday said it had finalized a contract with Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies, for a seventh batch of F135 engines for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet, and the company had agreed to pay to fix an engine issue that grounded the F-35 fleet this summer.
Compiled by Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila