(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; 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 were flat on Wednesday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were unchanged at 17,652, S&P 500 futures were unchanged at 2,048.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.06 percent at 4,240.5.
** AGIOS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $83.81, +9.47 pct premarket
The drug developer said its experimental blood cancer drug, AG-120, showed significant clinical activity in an early stage trial.
Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the stock to $111 from $97, the highest among the six brokerages covering the stock.
** STAPLES INC, Tuesday close $12.76, +3.45 pct premarket
The largest office supply retailer reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales and profit as demand recovered for core office supplies such as paper and ink products after six quarters of decline.
** PETSMART INC, Tuesday close $73.62, +3.30 pct premarket
** KKR & CO LP, Tuesday close $22.69, -2.47 pct premarket
Buyout firms KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC (CD&R) have teamed up to take Pet care products retailer PetSmart private for more than $7.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, as the auction for the pet food retailer heats up.
** LOWE‘S COS INC, Tuesday close $58.53, +4.49 pct premarket
The No. 2 U.S. home improvement products retailer raised its full-year profit and sales forecast as an improving job market encourages home owners to increase spending on renovations.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, Tuesday close $10.21, -7.44 pct premarket
The miner said it was looking to exit its Eastern Canadian iron ore operations, which may result in the closure of its Bloom Lake mine in Quebec.
** DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, Tuesday close $66.17, +0.00 pct premarket
** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC, Tuesday close $78.85
Dollar General, the U.S. chain of variety stores, may need to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its acquisition of discount retailer Family Dollar Stores, the New York Post reported, citing two sources close to the situation.
** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, Tuesday close $32.61
The alternative asset manager has reached out to its biggest fund investors about investing in a new investment vehicle with a longer investment horizon than the typical 10-year private equity fund, according to people familiar with the matter.
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Tuesday close $51.22, -0.08 pct premarket
** AT&T INC, Tuesday close $35.72
** T-MOBILE US INC, Tuesday close $27.87
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Tuesday close $67.85
The U.S. airwaves auction of so-called AWS-3 frequencies on Tuesday breached its reserve price of $10.1 billion, according to the Federal Communications Commission, less than a week after bidding began.
The auction is the largest opportunity for wireless carriers to get access to new airwaves since 2008 and although the bidding is anonymous, the largest U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Communications, No. 2 AT&T, No. 4 T-Mobile US and satellite provider Dish Network were expected to be the biggest bidders.
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Tuesday close $108.83
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, Tuesday close $13.68
Nearly a decade after losing a bidding war for device maker Guidant to Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson finally has a chance for payback at a multibillion-dollar trial set to begin on Thursday.
** NETFLIX INC, Tuesday close $381.03
The online movie streaming giant said it will launch its service in Australia and New Zealand in March, fuelling pricing pressure on domestic broadcasters and media firms already fighting hard for home entertainment viewers.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Tuesday close $48.74, +0.02 pct premarket
A U.S. judge has rejected Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s bid to put Microsoft’s lawsuit over smartphone patent royalties on hold while the South Korean company pursues an arbitration proceeding in Hong Kong.
** CBS CORP, Tuesday close $52.54
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Tuesday close $67.85
CBS fired the latest salvo in a contract dispute with Dish Network as a Thursday deadline nears that could blackout the network’s TV shows to more than 14 million Dish subscribers.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $130.66
The aircraft maker is working with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to address quality and reliability issues with the sharply criticized $41 billion homeland missile defense system by adopting controls from space programs, a company official said.
The company also said this week it is reevaluating its cybersecurity business and could divest or reassign some units as it focuses more on a few critical areas, including classified work it is doing for some U.S. government agencies.
** PETROLEO BRASILEIRO SA, Tuesday close $9.42
A graft investigation at the Brazilian state-run oil company is hurting the credit outlook for major suppliers accused of participating in the alleged bribery scheme, Moody’s Investors Service said on Tuesday.
** SUNCOR ENERGY INC, Tuesday close $34.69
Canada’s largest oil and gas company said on Tuesday that it plans to spend C$7.2 billion to C$7.8 billion ($6.4 billion to $6.9 billion) in 2015, with more than half of those funds earmarked for growth projects.
** TEEKAY CORP, Tuesday close $54.06
Tug boat engineers at Port Hedland, Australia’s biggest iron ore port, plan to hold a four-hour work stoppage on Nov. 22, tug operator Teekay shipping said, threatening exports from BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, Tuesday close $13.29
The gold miner named mining industry veteran Shaun Usmar as its chief financial officer designate on Tuesday, marking the latest shake-up at the world’s biggest gold miner.
** PERRY ELLIS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $23.44
The apparel retailer’s shareholders, Legion Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), have urged the company to explore strategic alternatives.
** INFOSYS LTD, Tuesday close $67.33
The Indian IT services company said it had fired the finance chief of its business process outsourcing unit for not complying with the company’s code of conduct.
** ACTAVIS PLC, Tuesday close $269.6
** ALLERGAN INC, Tuesday close $213.37
Activist investor William Ackman said on Tuesday he supports the $66 billion deal in which Actavis will buy Allergan and will withdraw his request for an Allergan special shareholder meeting.
** TARGET CORP, Tuesday close $269.6
The American retailing company releases third-quarter earnings before the bell. The company is expected to post a slight fall in profit for the three months to Nov. 2, compared with a year earlier.
** SALESFORCE.COM INC, Tuesday close $62.47
The business software maker is expected to report third-quarter results above analysts’ average estimate, according to StarMine.
** KEURIG GREEN MOUNTAIN INC, Tuesday close $157.1
The maker of the K-cup single serve pod is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the bell. The company has tried to expand beyond its core business as it grapples with more competition in single-serve coffee packets.
Shares of the real estate company are expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s IPO would be the second-largest initial public offering by a real estate company in the United States after Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc’s IPO last year. Paramount’s offering is expected to raise up to $2.5 billion, valuing the company at about $4.6 billion at the top end of the $16-$19 per share range. (Compiled by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore; Edited by Maju Samuel)