(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 futures were lower on Tuesday ahead of a raft of data and after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank could raise interest rates this year. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.26 percent at 18,177, S&P 500 futures were down 0.35 percent at 2,117 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.41 percent at 4,510.25.
** MCDERMOTT INTERNATIONAL INC, Friday close $4.67, +8.99 pct premarket
The energy-focused construction company said it received order for 12 offshore jackets from Saudi Aramco.
The contract, to be included in the second-quarter backlog, will be completed by end of the first quarter of 2016. This is the second contract from Saudi Aramco this year.
** EMC CORP, Friday close $26.84, +0.75 pct premarket
The data storage product maker said it would buy privately held Virtustream for about $1.2 billion in cash.
** FIRST SOLAR INC, Friday close $55.07, -4.03 pct premarket
RBC downgraded the solar panel maker’s stock to “underperform” from “sector perform” and cut its price target to $34 from $54, forecasting “flattish” revenue growth in 2015 and 2016.
The company’s low-cost advantage due to its cadmium telluride technology for large utility-scale projects “is diminishing due to significant cost reduction achieved by C-Si (crystalline silicon) producers,” analysts wrote in note.
** CERULEAN PHARMA INC, Friday close $6.08, +7.89 pct premarket
The U.S. FDA granted orphan drug status to the biotech company’s ovarian cancer drug, CRLX101.
The status, granted to drugs meant for rare diseases, allows drugmaker incentives, including seven-year U.S. marketing exclusivity. CRLX101 has shown activity in four different tumor types, both as monotherapy and in combination with other cancer drugs.
** INTELLIPHARMACEUTICS INTERNATIONAL INC, Friday close $3.1, +18.39 pct premarket
The Canadian biotech company said the U.S. FDA granted its abuse-deterrent pain drug fast track status.
The status expedites review of drugs intended to treat serious conditions that have few or no treatment options. The drug, Rexista Oxycodone XR, is intended for management of pain when an around-the-clock analgesic is needed for extended period of time.
** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, Friday close $171.18, +5.02 pct premarket
** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, Friday close $175.33, +0.83 pct premarket
** COMCAST CORP, Friday close $57.87, -0.57 pct premarket
Charter Communications struck a $56 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable, seeking to combine the third- and second-largest U.S. cable operators to better compete against market leader Comcast Corp.
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, Friday close $69.45, -1.83 pct premarket
Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker’s hopes of topping $45 billion in revenue by 2023 have been dealt a blow by a problem with an experimental psoriasis drug that it had viewed as a potential billion-dollar plus seller.
** PRICELINE GROUP INC, Friday close $1,208.5, -0.84 pct premarket
** CTRIP.COM INTERNATIONAL LTD, Friday close $84.63, +4.62 pct premarket
Travel websites operator Priceline will invest an additional $250 million in Chinese online travel company Ctrip.com to tap the fast growing China market.
** LIVEPERSON INC, Friday close $8.94, +14.77 pct premarket
** NICE SYSTEMS, Friday close $65.055
Israeli software provider Nice is in talks to buy chat software firm LivePerson, the Calcalist financial news website said on Tuesday.
** WAL MART STORES INC, Friday close $75.86
A labor-affiliated pension fund adviser is seeking an inquest into the auditor of Wal Mart Stores, Ernst & Young LLP, accusing the auditing firm of knowing about possible bribery in Mexico long before the retailer disclosed it to U.S. authorities.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, Friday close $12.29, -1.87 pct premarket
The Canadian miner said it would sell 50 percent stake in its unit that manages the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea to China’s Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd for $298 million in cash.
** FORD MOTOR Co, Friday close $15.27
The Turkish unit of the U.S. car maker has suspended operations at one of its plants after a week-long labor dispute flared up again just days after the company resumed production at another Turkey plant. (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das)