(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. stocks fell at the open on Tuesday, slightly reversing the previous day's rally, though the S&P 500 remained on track for its ninth straight quarterly rise. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.55 percent at 17,876.78, the S&P 500 was down 0.45 percent at 2,076.79 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.45 percent at 4,925.38.
** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, $195.28, +6.48 pct
Cable television operator Charter Communications Inc said it would buy Bright House Networks in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $10.4 billion to expand in Florida. Bright House, controlled by the Newhouse family, has about 2 million video customers in central Florida, including Orlando and Tampa Bay as well as Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and California.
** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $1.96, -15.88 pct
The drug developer said it would commence a public offering of common shares, but did not say when the offering would be completed or provide any details on the number of shares or price.
** VAALCO ENERGY INC, $2.68, -14.38 pct
The oil and gas producer said it is abandoning its first well drilled offshore Angola as it was found to be water-bearing.
** TECK RESOURCES LTD, $14.14, -7.40 pct
The Canadian miner and Antofagasta Plc denied that they were in talks about a merger after Bloomberg reported that the two mining companies were in early stage talks. Teck said in a statement that it was not in discussions with Antofagasta “in relation to any form of transaction.”
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, $46.07, -2.39 pct
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, $101.03, -0.51 pct
GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to settle a lawsuit by Johnson & Johnson accusing it of using false advertising at the start of the U.S. allergy season to grab market share.
** CBRE GROUP INC, $38.89, +6.81 pct
** JOHNSON CONTROLS INC, $50.78, +1.91 pct
Johnson Controls, the largest U.S. auto parts maker, said it would sell its business that helps corporations manage their real estate energy needs to real estate services firm CBRE Group for $1.48 billion in cash. CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, said it expects the deal to add to adjusted earnings in 2016.
** ENDURANCE SPECIALTY HOLDINGS LTD, $61.91, -3.72 pct
** MONTPELIER RE HOLDINGS LTD, $38.49, +0.89 pct
Property and casualty insurer Endurance Specialty will buy reinsurer Montpelier Re for about $1.83 billion in cash and stock, to boost its Lloyd’s of London underwriting business. Montpelier shareholders will get 0.472 Endurance share and $9.89 in cash for each share held, the companies said on Tuesday. This represents $40.24 per share for Montpelier, a 5.5 percent premium to the stock’s closing on Monday.
** GW PHARMA PLC, $92.11, +4.20 pct
The British maker of cannabis-based drugs said it has started the second leg of a mid-stage trial testing Epidiolex to treat Dravet syndrome, a rare, treatment-resistant form of childhood epilepsyelectronics. Data from the trial is expected at end of year and GW expects to submit a marketing application to the FDA in mid-2016. Epidiolex will also undergo late-stage testing to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
** DRYSHIPS INC, $0.8233, +1.64 pct
The drybulk shipper agreed to sell its four Suezmax tankers for about $245 million through its majority owned subsidiary Ocean Rig UDW Inc. The company also said it has entered into an agreement to potentially sell its six Aframax tankers for about $291 million.
** J C PENNEY CO INC, $8.18, +4.47 pct
Analysts at Piper Jaffray raised their price target on the department store chain’s stock to $14, according to Seeking Alpha. The brokerage also raised its estimates for the company based on inventory channel checks, Seeking Alpha reported.
** PRICELINE GROUP INC, $1,165.8, +1.39 pct
Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus raised their rating on the travel website operator to “buy” from “hold”, saying the stabilizing European economy should help the company.
** REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC, $68.27, -1.73 pct
** LORILLARD INC, $65.35, -1.61 pct
The Federal Trade Commission staff is recommending a suit to block the $27 billion merger of the second- and third-biggest cigarette makers, Reynolds American and Lorillard, the New York Post reported, citing a well-placed DC source not working on the case said. (bit.ly/1xuMHLZ)
** INSMED INC, $20.91, -0.85 pct
The drug developer said it is offering 10 million shares of its common stock, and intends to use the proceeds to develop respiratory drugs ARIKAYCE and INS1009.
** GROUPON INC, $7.3, -1.75 pct
** KKR & CO LP, $22.68, -0.40 pct
Private equity firms KKR and Hong Kong-based Anchor Partners are in talks to buy a majority stake in Groupon’s South Korean unit for around 350 billion won ($316 million), a South Korean newspaper reported on Tuesday.
($1 = 1,107.3200 won)
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $8.87, +3.50 pct
The drug developer said it won a U.S. government contract for the continued development of its potential treatment for viral diseases, including Ebola. The 18-month contract includes a base value of $12.1 million to support manufacturing, as well as $22.9 million in additional development options that can be exercised by the government.
** MOSAIC CO, $46.64, -1.52 pct
The U.S. fertilizer company said it would raise its annual dividend by 10 cents to $1.10 per share, effective in May. The move comes despite recent tax changes by the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where Mosaic mines the crop nutrient potash, which the company said earlier would cost it $80 million to $100 million in 2015.
** INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP, $161.08, -0.98 pct
The company said it would invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new ‘Internet of Things’ unit, aiming to sell its expertise in gathering and making sense of the surge in real-time data.
** CITIGROUP INC, $51.34, -0.58 pct
The U.S. bank has agreed to sell its credit card unit in Japan to Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, the companies said on Tuesday, as Citi slims down globally to bolster its profitability.
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, $63.15, -1.33 pct
The American oil company plans to invest about $2.5 billion in Indonesia’s upstream oil and gas industry over the next three or four years, the nation’s energy minister said on Tuesday.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $84.87, -0.89 pct
The oil and gas producer said it started production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico at Hadrian South, its deepest subsea tie-back. The daily gross production from the project is expected to reach about 300 mln cubic feet of gas and 3,000 barrels of liquids from two wells.
** COMCAST CORP, $56.27, -0.60 pct
The largest U.S. cable operator said it would form a new company with its chief financial officer, Michael Angelakis, to invest in and focus on operating growth-oriented companies both in the United States and international markets. The new company would have total capital commitments of up to $4.1 billion, of which $4 billion will be invested by Comcast. At least $40 million will be invested by Angelakis.
** SPRINT CORP, $4.72, -0.63 pct
Sprint has agreed to settle a $131 million lawsuit accusing it of defrauding shareholders by issuing false and misleading statements about its tightened credit standards, improvements in its subscriber base, and the success of its merger with Nextel Communications Inc. (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)