(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) Gains in Apple shares and energy stocks boosted Wall Street on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's October meeting that were likely to underpin expectations of an interest rate hike next month. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.73 percent at 17,616.97, and the S&P 500 was up 0.72 percent at 2,065.16.
** APPLE INC, $117.08, +2.98 pct
Goldman Sachs added Apple to its list of top picks in the Americas, saying that the iPhone maker’s shares have the potential to rise as much as 43 pct from current levels.
** FAIRCHILD SEMICONDUCTOR INTERNATIONAL INC, $19.42, +8.61 pct
** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, $9.615, -10.47 pct
ON Semiconductor said it would buy the chipmaker in a $2.4 billion deal, the latest in a rapidly consolidating semiconductor industry.
** LOWE’S COS INC, $72.56, -0.40 pct
The No.2 U.S. home improvement chain reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales at stores open at least a year, as people spent more on home improvement amid a strong recovery in the U.S. housing market.
** TARGET CORP, $69.29, -4.97 pct
The U.S. retailer reported slower growth in online sales and said gross margins fell slightly because of reimbursement pressure in its pharmacy operations.
** QUALCOMM INC, $48.69, -8.10 pct
The chipmaker said it received communication from Korea Fair Trade Commission, alleging that the company violated South Korean competition law.
** CONAGRA FOODS INC, $41.025, +4.23 pct
Slim Jim beef jerky and Chef Boyardee pasta maker said it would spin off its Lamb Weston frozen potato products business into separate public company and rename itself Conagra Brands Inc.
** GOPRO INC, $19.37, -7.19 pct
Piper Jaffray cut its price target on the wearable camera maker’s shares, saying the company may not be able to maintain current margin expectations as selective price reductions were becoming more evident.
** SOLARCITY’S SHARES, $27.04, +4.00 pct
The top U.S. solar installer said PE firm Silver Lake would invest $100 million in the company and SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk and CEO Lyndon Rive would invest another $13 million.
** AMN HEALTHCARE SERVICES INC, $30.76, +4.31 pct
The healthcare staffing company said it would acquire B.E. Smith, a privately held company that provides healthcare staffing and executive search services, for $160 million.
** VIPSHOP HOLDINGS LTD, $13.66, +9.02 pct
The online discount retailer reported quarterly profit that more than doubled and said it would buy back up to $300 million of its American depositary shares.
** STAPLES INC, $11.885, -4.54 pct
The office supplies retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales, hurt by lower demand for products such as technology accessories and ink and toner.
** CITRIX SYSTEMS INC, $71.7582, -8.50 pct
The cloud computing software maker, under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, said it would spin off its GoTo business into a listed company and cut more than 10 percent of its workforce prompting at least four brokerages to adjust their views on the stock.
** BLUEBIRD BIO INC, $83.6007, +5.01 pct
Goldman Sachs started coverage of the stock with a “buy” rating and a price target of $165, saying “current share levels represent an attractive entry point, as we believe fundamentals of the company are intact”.
** ANAVEX LIFE SCIENCES, $5.65, +74.38 pct
The company said it will study experimental Alzheimer’s treatment, ANAVEX 2-73, in a large study based on guidance from the U.S. FDA.
** NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP, $92.98, +6.91 pct
The U.S. railroad operator rejected a $28.4 billion acquisition offer by Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd on Tuesday, calling it “low-premium” and warning it would face significant regulatory hurdles.
** SOUFUN HOLDINGS LTD, $7.13, -4.30 pct
The Chinese property website operator posted a bigger quarterly loss as cost of services increased to $188.5 million from $48.8 million mainly due to increased staff, e-commerce costs and higher home decorating expenses.
** JACK IN THE BOX INC, $71.46, +2.10 pct
The hamburger restaurant chain reported better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales growth besides setting 2016 profit forecast above analyst expectations.
** TASER INTERNATIONAL INC, $18.45, +10.08 pct
Brokerage Ladenburg Thalmann upgraded the stock to “buy”, saying the company’s investment in smaller video products business can produce steady stream of revenue.
** ARAMARK, $32, +8.04 pct
The customer service business reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by new accounts in the education business besides raising regular quarterly dividend by 10 percent. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)