(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 e-mini futures fell on Wednesday as oil prices declined after data showed crude stockpiles in the United States touched record highs: Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.28 percent at 16,802, S&P 500 futures were down 0.29 percent at 1,972.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.23 percent at 4,327.75.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, Tuesday close $29.34, +8.15 pct premarket
The teen apparel retailer reported a surprise increase in quarterly sales at established stores due to strong demand for its Hollister branded clothing in the holiday shopping season.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, Tuesday close $2.76, -4.71 pct premarket
Aubrey McClendon, former chief executive of the oil and gas producer and a legend in the U.S. energy industry, was charged on Tuesday with conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma, the Justice Department said.
** MONSANTO CO, Tuesday close $92.49, -4.77 pct premarket
The world’s largest seed company slashed its 2016 earnings forecast, citing a strong dollar and pricing pressure. The company said on Wednesday it now expected adjusted earnings of $4.40-$5.10 per share, compared with the $5.10-$5.60 it had forecast in December.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Tuesday close $70.86, +1.54 pct premarket
Ant Financial Services Group, the finance arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant, is in talks to invest in business magazine publisher Caixin Media, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Caixin, founded by Hu Shuli, has been discussing a stake sale with Ant Financial which operates Alipay and Alipay Wallet, Bloomberg said. (bloom.bg/1oO77Mt)
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL PLC, Tuesday close $6.19, -5.33 pct premarket
The oilfield services provider is offering 80 million ordinary shares, about 10 percent of its total shares outstanding. The company will use the proceeds for corporate purposes and to repay debt.
** CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $7.89, +26.74 pct premarket
Canadian label and packaging maker CCL Industries Inc said it would buy U.S.-based Checkpoint, which makes anti-theft tags used by retailers, for about $422 million. CCL’s offer of $10.15 per share in cash represents a premium of about 29 percent to Checkpoint’s Tuesday close.
** ZYNGA INC, Tuesday close $2.16, +9.72 pct premarket
The creator of “FarmVille” named former Electronic Arts Inc executive Frank Gibeau as its chief executive, betting on an industry veteran to help accelerate its transition into a company focused on mobile gaming.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $65.45, +2.37 pct premarket
A U.S. regulatory probe of the Canadian drugmaker, disclosed by the company on Monday, is focused on the company’s relationship with specialty pharmacy Philidor RX Services and was triggered by Valeant’s own request that regulators investigate a short seller’s allegations, people familiar with the matter said.
** ANTHEM INC, Tuesday close $131.8
** CIGNA CORP, Tuesday close $138.53
The American Hospital Association warned U.S. antitrust regulators that Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna will hurt other health insurers’ ability to compete with Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, leading to higher premiums for consumers.
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC, Tuesday close $26.26
** VIACOM INC, Tuesday close $37.56
Hollywood studio DreamWorks would be interested in a merger with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $119.96, +0.87 pct premarket
The aircraft maker is studying options for an airplane in the middle of the jet market, but faces a “tough business case,” Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth said. Speaking at the Istat Americas air finance conference, he ruled out reviving the out-of-production 757 with new engines because of the previously high production cost.
** QUALCOMM INC, Tuesday close $52.11, -0.19 pct premarket
The chipmaker has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle charges it violated U.S. anti-bribery laws by hiring relatives of Chinese officials to obtain business, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday.
** INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP, Tuesday close $134.37
The computing giant is planning to sell up to $150 million worth of shares in China’s Lenovo Group Ltd, IFR reported on Wednesday, citing a term sheet of the deal sent to investors.
** PETROLEO BRASILEIRO SA PETROBRAS, Tuesday close $3.79
The board of Brazil’s state-run oil company has approved the start of exclusive negotiations to sell its controlling stake in Petrobras Argentina to Pampa Energia SA, according to a Petrobras securities filing on Wednesday. (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)