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U.S. stock index futures ticked up on Thursday, with the Dow industrials nearing the 18,000 mark, ahead of news from the European Central Bank on whether it will further ease monetary policy. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures were up 0.06 percent at 17,908, S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.06 percent at 2,073.75 and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.14 percent at 4,316.5.
** CACHE INC, Wednesday close $0.2249, +51.18 pct premarket
The women's apparel retailer said it received an inquiry from a third party for potential sale of company. The company said its board will explore and evaluate strategic alternatives including possible merger or sale.
** KINDRED BIOSCIENCES INC, Wednesday close $9.24, -27.60 pct premarket
The pet drug developer said it would stop developing its experimental atopic dermatitis drug, AtoKin, for dogs due to "the rapid uptake and success" of a recently launched rival product.
** EXPRESS INC Wednesday close $14.49, -12.15 pct premarket
The apparel retailer's same-store sales fel 5 pct, more than the 2.5 pct fall expected by analysts. The company also cut its full-year profit forecast to 69-76 cents per share from 85-95 cents.
** PLUG POWER INC, Wednesday close $3.5, +13.71 pct premarket
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEM INC, Wednesday close $2.12, +6.13 pct premarket
** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, Wednesday close $1.67, +4.19 pct premarket
Plug Power signs a $20 million multi-year contract with a major North American telecommunications provider for fuel-cell systems and hydrogen services.
** NEXTERA ENERGY INC, Wednesday close $104.39
** HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, Wednesday close $28.19, +15.64 pct premarket
U.S. power company NextEra Energy said it would buy Hawaiian Electric Industries, Hawaii's largest power supplier, for about $2.63 billion in cash and stock to expand its regulated holdings.
** RYANAIR HOLDINGS, Wednesday close $63.53, +7.82 pct premarket
Europe's largest low-cost carrier raised its profit forecast for the second time in a month on Thursday after passenger numbers jumped 22 percent in November, a rise which it said was due in part to the improvements it has made to its much-criticized customer service.
Low-cost airlines: Passenger numbers on the rise
** AEROPOSTALE INC, Wednesday close $3.19, -11.60 pct premarket
The teen apparel retailer reported its eighth straight quarterly loss, hurt by higher discounts and falling demand, and said it would close about 75 stores in the current quarter.
** GILDAN ACTIVWEAR INC, Wednesday close $58.27, -9.59 pct premarket
The Canadian apparel maker's quarterly profit missed expectation, hurt by weaker-than-expected sales growth in its branded apparel business.
** MOBILEYE NV, Wednesday close $41.81, +3.80 pct premarket
Deutsche Bank raises rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold", saying that company is exceeding expectations on contract wins based on industry research.
** ARRAY BIOPHARMA, Wednesday close $3.91, +24.55 pct premarket
The company reached an agreement with Swiss drugmaker Novartis to regain rights to experimental cancer drug, binimetinib, currently being evaluated in three late-stage trials.
** UTI WORLDWIDE INC, Wednesday close $13.88, -11.96 pct premarket
The logistics company said it held "exploratory" talks to be acquired by Nordic trucking company DSV A/S, denying a Bloomberg report that discussions were at an advanced stage.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, Wednesday close $46.71, -1.35 pct premarket
GlaxoSmithKline is to shed hundreds of U.S. commercial and research jobs, restructuring operations in its biggest market where drug sales are flagging.
A total of 900 posts will be eliminated at GSK's Research Triangle Park site in North Carolina as drug research is consolidated in Philadelphia and in Stevenage, near London, according to a filing with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. (here)
** UNILEVER NV, Wednesday close $40.5, +1.98 pct premarket
The Anglo-Dutch company plans to form a standalone business unit for its North American and European spreads as it struggles to turn around a business hit by a fall in bread and margarine consumption, its chief financial officer said on Thursday.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, Wednesday close $34.25
Sears reported a quarterly net loss of $548 million, smaller than the range it had estimated last month, as the retailer cuts costs after years of sluggish sales.
** FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES NV, Wednesday close $13.56
The company will expand U.S. recall of vehicles with Takata Corp passenger-side air bags. Fiat says expansion of recall affects 149,150 Ram 2003 model pickup trucks, some of which were included in previous recall.
** SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $7.01
The video streaming products supplier lowered its full-year 2015 revenue forecast "due to the timing of revenue recognition associated with our multiscreen products and services previously anticipated in the fourth quarter," CFO says.
** SANOFI SA, Wednesday close $48.11
Sanofi declined to comment on Thursday on media reports that a lawsuit filed in the United States by a former employee alleges that the French drugmaker paid $34 million in kickbacks for doctors, pharmacies and hospitals to order its diabetes treatments.
** AMGEN INC, Wednesday close $168.07
U.S. health regulators on Wednesday approved Amgen's drug that helps the immune system fight a rare type of leukemia, more than five months ahead of the expected decision date.
** CITIGROUP INC, Wednesday close $55.21
Suspected metals fraud in China sparked claims of betrayal by both U.S. bank Citigroup and trade house Mercuria over who would absorb about $270 million in exposure to financing deals, a London court heard on Wednesday.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, Wednesday close $35.49
Vodafone has met with analysts and investors this week to calm fears it could make a multi-billion dollar takeover bid for Europe's biggest cable company Liberty Global, according to people present.
** BEST BUY Co INC, Wednesday close $36.04
The U.S. retailer said on Thursday it will sell its struggling China business, Five Star, to domestic real estate firm Zhejiang Jiayuan Group in order to focus on its North American operations.
** RIO TINTO PLC, Wednesday close $47.25
The company's chief of copper says he expects copper market to remain oversupplied in medium term and this could pressure prices next year.
** AUTOLIV, Wednesday close $102.94
The auto safety gear maker said it will supply replacement airbag inflators to be used by Honda in the U.S. Honda, Toyota and other car manufacturers have recalled millions of cars globally for ruptured Takata inflators. In order to meet increased demand, Autoliv will build additional inflator capacity in its existing manufacturing facilities.
** WHITING PETROLEUM CORP, Wednesday close $40.66
** KODAK OIL AND GAS CORP, Wednesday close $7.17
Whiting Petroleum shareholders approved the company's all-stock buyout of Kodiak Oil and Gas on Wednesday, a deal that will make Whiting the largest oil producer in North Dakota.
** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, Wednesday close $33.15
The company's No. 2 executive Tony James is considering taking a role outside the world's largest alternative asset manager, including seeking a top job in a future U.S. government, according to people familiar with his thinking.
** HERBALIFE LTD, Wednesday close $42.08
The maker of weight loss and nutritional products won preliminary court approval of its $15 million settlement of class-action litigation accusing the company of being a "pyramid scheme" that misleads distributors about how much money they can make.
** TILLY'S INC, Wednesday close $7.07
The teen apparel retailer's third-quarter profit beat market estimates, helped by "slightly better teen retail environment".
Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila