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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 on track for a fourth straight session of gains, as Apple and Texas Instruments rallied after their results. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.40 percent at 16,396, S&P 500 futures were up 0.57 percent at 1,910.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.97 percent at 3,903.5.
** APPLE INC, Monday close $99.76, +3.07 pct premarket
Strong global demand for Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 will drive revenue growth through 2015, while updated models should help reverse three straight quarters of declining iPad sales, analysts said.
At least 10 brokerages raised price targets on Apple’s stock by as much as $20 to as high as $143. The median price target on the stock is $115, according to Thomson Reuters data.
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** TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC, Monday close $44.41, +2.43 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.
** THE COCA-COLA CO, Wednesday close $43.29, -5.22 pct premarket
Coca-Cola Co said its quarterly profit fell 14 percent and that it was expanding cost-cutting initiatives as carbonated beverage volumes in North America declined.
** MCDONALD’S CORP, Wednesday close $91.59, -1.79 pct premarket
The fast food giant reported a 30 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by a food scandal in China and intense competition in the United States.
** TRAVELERS COS INC, Wednesday close $93.2, +0.59 pct premarket
The property and casualty insurer reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly operating profit, helped by higher net investment income and a fall in disaster-related losses.
** FACEBOOK INC, Monday close $76.95, +0.79 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.
** 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, -0.67 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.
** CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC, Monday close $653.03, -4.64 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.
** RHINO RESOURCE PARTNERS LP, Wednesday close $11.89, -52.06 pct premarket
Raymond James downgraded the coal producer’s stock to “underperform” from “outperform”, saying lower cash distribution gives little confidence in the company’s near-term outlook.
“..2014 guidance is out the window and we have little visibility towards 2015,” the brokerage wrote in a note.
Rhino on Monday announced a quarterly cash distribution of 5 cents per common unit, down from 44 cents per unit a year earlier, and said weak coal markets hurt cash flow.
** IBIO INC, Monday close $2.18, -8.72 pct premarket
** ALPHA PRO TECH LTD, Monday close $4.43, -7.45 pct premarket
** LAKELAND INDUSTRIES INC, Monday close $14.93, -6.23 pct premarket
Shares of biotech Ibio, face mask maker Alpha Pro and hazmat suit maker Lakeland fell in premarket trade.
More than 40 people exposed to the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States emerged from isolation with a clean bill of health on Monday.
The WHO declared Nigeria free of Ebola on Monday after 42 days with no new cases
The WHO’s emergency committee on Ebola will meet on Wednesday to review the scope of the outbreak and whether additional measures are needed.
** OMEROS CORP, Wednesday close $13.82, -11.36 pct premarket
The biotechnology company said it suspended enrolment in a mid-stage study testing its experimental Huntington’s drug as the company evaluates data from a concurrent trial in rats.
** SYNERGY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $2.74, +6.57 pct premarket
The drugmaker reported positive data from a mid-stage study on its constipation drug, plecanatide. Synergy said the drug met its primary goal by showing clear improvement in efficacy at a higher dose range of 3-9 mg.
** OMNICOM GROUP INC, Monday close $67.28, +2.48 pct premarket
The No. 1 U.S. advertising company reported quarterly revenue and profit above analysts’ expectations boosted by higher ad spending in the United States.
** AMAZON.COM INC, Monday close $306.21, +0.67 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.
** APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC, Wednesday close $25.75, -3.22 pct premarket
The U.S. for-profit education provider reported a 15 percent fall in quarterly revenue as it enrolled fewer students and warned revenue this quarter would be far lower than expected.
** ALLERGAN INC, Monday close $179.25
** SHIRE PLC, Monday close $184.59, -0.12 pct premarket
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Monday close $124.78
** ABBVIE INC, Monday close $54.41, +1.27 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.
** 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.
** STAPLES INC, Monday close $12.3, -1.71 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.
** ACTAVIS PLC, Monday close $226.67, $226.67, +2.23 pct premarket
** SANOFI SA, Monday close $51.78, -0.64 pct premarket
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, -1.36 pct premarket
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.
** KIMBERLY-CLARK CORP, Monday close $108.04, +0.89 pct premarket
The personal care products maker reported a 3.4 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by strong sales in international markets such as Brazil, China, South Africa and Vietnam. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)