(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) The S&P 500 and the Dow rallied to nine-week highs and were poised for their best month since October 2011, on strong corporate results and cues from the European Central Bank about extending its stimulus program. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.48 percent at 17,422.95, the S&P 500 was up 1.31 percent at 2,045.45 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.18 percent at 4,897.046.
** MCDONALD’S CORP, $110.63, +7.89 pct
The company’s shares hit an all-time high on Thursday after Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said a rebound in quarterly restaurant sales showed that his turnaround plan is starting to work.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, $49.23, +3.69 pct
The company said it would “review all options” for its agrosciences business, after the unit reported its third straight quarter of sales decline on Thursday.
** COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, $25.65, -36.74 pct
** HCA HOLDINGS INC, $65.6, -7.87 pct
** TENET HEALTHCARE CORP, $27.56, -20.83 pct
** LIFEPOINT HEALTH INC, $59.03, -18.14 pct
Shares of for-profit hospital operators slumped on Thursday, a day after Community Health Systems Inc joined market leader HCA Holdings in estimating weaker-than-expected results for the third quarter.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS, $97.25, -18.01 pct
The company’s stock fell following Citron’s report costing investor billions, but analysts at bulge-bracket banks sat tight on their recommendations.
** ENVISION HEALTHCARE HOLDINGS INC, $24.8, -32.04 pct
The medical service provider reported lower-than-expected third quarter revenue and profit hurt by performance at its EmCare segment that fell short of its expectations.
** SMARTPROS LTD, $3.5299, +38.43 pct
Global education services company Kaplan Inc will acquire SmartPros for about $16.9 million, or $3.57 per share, in cash.
** TRUEBLUE INC, $27.49, +20.62 pct
The company estimated fourth-quarter revenue of $738 million to $753 million and adjusted EPS of 58-64 cents vs consensus of revenue of $726 million and EPS 55 cents.
** APOLLO EDUCATION GROUP INC, $7.29, -31.23 pct
The company’s fourth-quarter revenue missed analysts’ average estimate for the 7th time in 8 quarters as enrollments continue to slide.
** MERRIMACK PHARMA, $9.0645, -9.45 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s pancreatic cancer therapy Onivyde, but with a serious warning, marking the company’s first ever drug to win regulatory clearance.
** MULTI PACKAGING SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL LTD, $15.62, +20.15 pct
The specialty packaging services provider’s stock rose in its debut.
** ARCTIC CAT INC, $16.9591, -24.15 pct
The snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle maker reported lower-than-expected profit and revenue due to strong dollar and weak demand for ATVs and side-by-side recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs).
** RELYPSA INC, $12.17, -24.64 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drugmaker’s oral drug, that carries a warning, to treat potentially fatal levels of potassium in patients with chronic kidney disease or heart problems.
** CATERPILLAR INC, $70.55, +2.39 pct
The heavy machinery maker posted lower quarterly profits and cut its outlook, weakened by slower Chinese economic growth and Brazil’s recession, but shares rallied on relief that the report was largely consistent with last month’s warning and restructuring announcement.
** DATALINK CORP, $7.1899, +16.72 pct
The company topped third-quarter earnings per share, revenue expectations and also forecast fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share of 20 to 26 cents on revenue of $195 to $210 million vs estimates of 21 cents and $200.2 million in revenue.
** CIT GROUP INC, $45.85, +14.97 pct
The U.S. small-business lender said it would explore strategic alternatives for its $10 billion commercial air unit and sell its Canadian and Chinese businesses.
** CITRIX SYSTEMS INC, $80.27, +11.61 pct
The cloud computing company reported better-than-expected third quarter revenue and profit on Wednesday, driven by better revenue from its cloud business and licensing fees.
** LAWSON PRODUCTS INC, $28, +10.63 pct
The maintenance and repair products distributor’s third-quarter profit soared to $0.27/shr from $0.05/shr a year earlier as costs fall steeply.
** UNITED RENTALS INC, $73.34, +9.14 pct
The world’s largest equipment rental company reported a better-than-expected third quarter profit, helped by higher equipment rental revenue.
** CABELA’S INC, $34.45, -17.33 pct
The sporting goods retailer said 2015 EPS will now be flat, compared with high-single to low-double-digit growth estimated earlier.
** OCLARO, $2.82, +17.50 pct
The maker of laser and optical components forecast first-quarter revenue of about $87.5 million, at the high end of the $82-$88 million range projected on Aug. 4, citing strength in its 100G product portfolio.
** POOL CORP, $79.7, +7.88 pct
The swimming pool equipment distributor’s third-quarter revenue fell slightly short of estimates, but profit was better-than-expected as operating costs rose only 1 percent. The company also raised 2015 EPS forecast to $2.80-$2.85 from $2.72-$2.82, consistent with its long-term expectations of 15 percent growth.
** CONMED CORP, $40.43, -17.05 pct
The medical device maker reported a bigger-than-expected fall in third-quarter profit and revenue, hurt by a decline in international sales.
** EBAY INC, $27.375, +13.07 pct
The company reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast, helping to allay concerns about the company’s prospects following the spinoff of PayPal, its main engine of growth.
** PULTEGROUP INC, $18, -7.46 pct
** D.R. HORTON INC, $30.83, -1.60 pct
** KB HOME, $13.68, -4.20 pct
** LENNAR CORP, $51.6, -0.94 pct
** TOLL BROTHERS INC, $36.12, -1.26 pct
U.S. homebuilders’ shares fell after PulteGroup said it sold fewer homes in the third quarter.
** UNDER ARMOUR INC, $92.73, -6.48 pct
The No. 2 U.S. sportswear maker’s third-quarter gross margin falls 80 basis points to 48.8 percent, mainly due to stronger dollar and sales mix.
** WABTEC CORP, $83.74, -5.43 pct
The rail products supplier reported lower-than-expected third quarter profit and revenue, hurt by a strong dollar.
** TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC, $57.62, +11.02 pct
The company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by higher sales of its analog and embedded chips.
** HALLIBURTON CO, $39.61, +3.15 pct
** BAKER HUGHES INC, $55.42, +1.86 pct
** HELMERICH & PAYNE INC, $56.18, +1.26 pct
** SCHLUMBERGER LTD, $77.99, +3.12 pct
** BP PLC, $35.76, +1.76 pct
** EXXON MOBIL, $82.39, +2.72 pct
** CHEVRON CORP, $91.26, +2.16 pct
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, $54.21, +2.34 pct
** LEGACY RESERVES LP, $4.43, -2.85 pct
** PENN VIRGINIA CORP, $0.8602, -1.53 pct
** GULFMARK OFFSHORE INC, $7.52, +4.74 pct
** GOODRICH PETROLEUM CORP, $0.6797, -0.06 pct
** BONANZA CREEK ENERGY INC, $6.21, -0.16 pct
** NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD, $10.46, +2.55 pct
** ENSCO PLC, $16.5, +1.79 pct
U.S.-listed shares of oil producers, service providers and drillers rose as oil gained more than $48/barrel after a 3-day fall.
** AMERICAN EXPRESS CO, $71.88, -6.05 pct
At least 4 brokerages cut price target on the world’s largest credit card issuer’s stock as it reported a quarterly profit that missed analysts’ estimates due to higher costs and a strong dollar ate into revenue from its international business.
** SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO, $43.82, +6.77 pct
The U.S. budget carrier reported a third-quarter profit above average analyst estimate and forecast a rise in fourth-quarter unit revenue, citing “favorable booking” trends in October and revenue it has generated from an amended marketing agreement for credit cards with Chase Bank USA NA.
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL PLC, $9.98, +8.48 pct
The oilfield services provider said it completed laying off 11,000 employees by September-end and raised the headcount reduction target to 14,000.
** KINDER MORGAN INC, $29.43, -6.33 pct
The U.S. pipeline operator on Wednesday raised its quarterly dividend but said the payout would grow a bit slower next year.
** MEAD JOHNSON NUTRITION CO, $79.33, +5.63 pct
The pediatric nutrition company cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time this year, to $3.33-$3.43 per share from $3.63-$3.78 and reported lower-than-expected third quarter sales and adjusted profit, hurt by a 15 percent drop in sales in Asia, its largest market.
** PERRIGO CO PLC, $144.61, -6.85 pct
The drugmaker said it would cut about 800 jobs and buy back $2 billion worth of common shares as it looks to stave off a hostile bid from Mylan NV.
** TECK RESOURCES LTD, $6.625, +3.84 pct
The Canadian miner swung to a quarterly loss due to a C$2.2 billion asset impairment charge in its steel-making coal and other businesses.
** LAZARD LTD, $47.41, +4.80 pct
The investment bank and asset manager reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a rise in advisory fees related to mergers and acquisitions.
** 3M CO, $155.45, +3.76 pct
The maker of Scotch tape and Post-it notes reported a 5 percent decline in third-quarter net sales and said it would cut about 1,500 jobs next year, citing a global economic slowdown.
** COCA-COLA CO, $43.49, +3.08 pct
An environmental protection bureau in northwest China said police temporarily detained an executive at a company bottling facility in Gansu province after they found the facility had falsified pollution data. (Compiled by Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)