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U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday, pointing to a fourth straight session of gains, with technology shares especially poised for outperformance following strong results from both Apple Inc and Texas Instruments Inc. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.60 percent at 16,429, S&P 500 futures were up 0.74 percent at 1,914 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.88 percent at 3,900.
** APPLE INC, Monday close $99.76, +1.79 pct premarket
Apple forecast a strong holiday quarter after a better-than-expected 16 percent jump in iPhone sales, and the strongest growth in Mac computer shipments in years helped the company surpass Wall Street’s targets.
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** FACEBOOK INC, Monday close $76.95, +0.95 pct premarket
Facebook and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg have sued several lawyers who represented Paul Ceglia, claiming they helped the upstate New York entrepreneur pursue a fraudulent lawsuit to extort a 50 percent stake in the social networking company.
** AMAZON.COM INC, Monday close $306.21, +0.91 pct premarket
The online book retailer said on Monday that it had signed a multi-year deal with Simon & Schuster Inc, the second Big-Five book publisher, on the future price of e-books.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Monday close $44.08, +0.50 pct premarket
Microsoft will provide free cloud-computing and research applications to qualified medical researchers working on the Ebola virus, the software company’s chief executive said on Monday.
** IBM CORP, Monday close $169.1, -0.56 pct premarket
IBM reported on Monday a marked slowdown in business in September and abandoned its 2015 operating earnings target. The company also announced that it would hive off its loss-making semiconductor unit to contract chipmaker Globalfoundries Inc.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Monday close $10.3, +0.97 pct premarket
BlackBerry shares were up in premarket trading after a news website said on Monday that Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group might offer to buy the Canadian technology company.
Benzinga.com, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, said an offer worth $15 a share could come as early as this week.
** ALLERGAN INC, Monday close $179.25
** SHIRE PLC, Monday close $184.59, +0.46 pct premarket
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Monday close $124.78
** ABBVIE INC, Monday close $54.41, +1.64 pct premarket
Allergan shareholder Paulson & Co is urging the Botox maker to merge with specialty pharmaceutical company Shire as an alternative to a deal with hostile bidder Valeant, according to two people familiar with the matter.
U.S. drugmaker AbbVie said on Monday that it had reached agreement with Shire to officially call off its proposed $55 billion purchase of the Irish company, and would pay Shire a $1.64 billion breakup fee for walking away from the deal.
** CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC, Monday close $653.03, -5.06 pct premarket
Morgan Stanley cut its price target on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s stock to $696 and Wunderlich Securities to $660 from $680. The median price target on the stock is $712.50.
Chipotle reported on Monday another acceleration in quarterly restaurant sales growth, but shares in the popular burrito seller tumbled after it signaled that such momentum would not last forever.
** NOVARTIS AG, Monday close $87.9
An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended the use of Novartis’ anti-inflammation drug in patients with a type of psoriasis, paving the way for its approval.
The panel voted 7-0 in favor of the drug’s use in plaque-psoriasis, the most common form of the painful, unsightly skin condition.
** ASBURY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP INC, Monday close $65.3
The U.S. auto dealer reported a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit as it sold more vehicles as easier credit helped it sell more cars.
** OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP, Monday close $88.74
Oman Oil Co is in talks with Occidental to buy its assets in the Gulf Arab sultanate but is still waiting to know the specifics of the potential sale from the U.S. company, the Omani firm’s chief executive said on Tuesday.
** STAPLES INC, Monday close $12.3, -1.79 pct premarket
The office-supply retailer is investigating a possible breach of payment card data and has contacted law enforcement about the matter, making it the latest U.S. retailer to become a possible victim of a cyber attack.
** VITAMIN SHOPPE INC, Monday close $45.43
The nutritional supplement retailer under activist shareholder pressure to consider a sale is speaking to investment banks about hiring a financial adviser, according to people familiar with the matter.
** TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC, Monday close $44.41, +2.45 pct premarket
The company posted third-quarter results above expectations and its CFO said business was healthy, in contrast to recent concerns on Wall Street about a possible slowdown in chip demand.
** MITEL NETWORKS CORP, Monday close $8.16
** SHORETEL INC, Monday close $7.62
The Canadian telecommunications provider on Monday made public its about $540 million offer for smaller U.S. peer ShoreTel Inc SHOR.O. Mitel’s cash offer of $8.10 per share represents a 24 percent premium to ShoreTel stock’s closing price on Friday.
** ACTAVIS PLC, Monday close $226.67
** SANOFI SA, Monday close $51.78
The generic drugmaker and France’s Sanofi are among the suitors for privately held Omega Pharma NV , Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** KAISER ALUMINUM CORP, Monday close $75.14
The specialty aluminum products maker’s third-quarter profit plunged 36 percent due to lower shipments. The company said it expects full-year adjusted EBITDA to fall slightly below 2013 levels. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)