October 7, 2013 / 1:22 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-Cooper Tire, BlackBerry, GW Pharmaceuticals, DryShips

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WALL ST SET TO DROP AT OPEN ON WASHINGTON DEADLOCK

U.S. stocks were poised for a lower open as the partial U.S. government shutdown dragged on with no signs of a softening in the positions of politicians over the debt-ceiling limit or budget impasse. S&P 500 futures fell 13.1 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures 110 points and Nasdaq 100 futures 20.75 points.

** COOPER TIRE & RUBBER CO, Friday close $29.51, down 10.5 pct premarket

Apollo Tyres’ $2.5 billion acquisition of Cooper has flared into a war of words as the two companies haggle over the price of the deal plagued by labor issues in the United States, where Cooper is based, and in China.

** BOEING CO, Friday close $117.20, down 1 pct premarket

Airbus announced its first jet order from Japan Airlines Co Ltd on Monday, breaking open the last big aviation market dominated by Boeing, in a move that suggests the U.S. company may pay for the 787 Dreamliner’s troubled debut.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, Friday close $7.69, up 5 pct premarket

The Canadian smartphone maker on the block as its smartphone business struggles, is in talks with Cisco Systems, Google Inc and SAP about selling them all or parts of itself, several sources close to the matter said.

** SOTHEBY‘S, Friday close $50.77, up 8 pct premarket

The auction house said on Friday it adopted a “poison pill” two days after activist investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund called for a management shake-up and increased its stake in the company.

** GW PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Friday close $24.70, up 14 pct premarket

Lazard Capital analyst Joshua Schimmer raised his target price on the stock to $65 from $22, saying the biotechnology company’s experimental therapy to treat a type of epilepsy will fulfill enormous unmet needs.

The drug is composed of cannabinoids, which are compounds extracted from the cannabis plant. Schimmer said cannabinoids could represent a new breakthrough medication for seizures.

Schimmer said the development of the drug, which is in preclinical studies, could move quickly and expects it to be launched in 2018.

** OUTERWALL INC, Friday close $57.10, up 9 pct premarket

Activist investor Jana Partners LLC reported a 13.5 percent stake in Outerwall and said it intends to explore options, including a sale, for the operator of the Redbox video rental kiosks.

** APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC, Friday close $30.35

The U.S. private equity firm is considering seeking approval to raise the limit on its new flagship fund following investor interest, Bloomberg reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

** DARLING INTERNATIONAL INC, Friday close $20.33

Food waste recycler Darling International said it would buy Vion Ingredients, a unit of privately held Vion Holding NV, for 1.6 billion euros ($2.18 billion).

** WAL-MART STORES INC, Friday close $72.80

Wal-Mart’s retail plans with India partner Bharti Enterprises are “not tenable” and both sides are looking for the best way to move forward, an executive with the U.S. retailer told Reuters.

** KKR & CO LP, Friday close $20.88

Private equity firm KKR is nearing a deal to acquire lifting equipment company Crosby Group LLC for around $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

** AMAZON.COM, Friday close $319.04, down 1.2 pct premarket

Workers at Amazon.com’s German operations could strike during the Christmas holiday season in a dispute over pay that has been raging for months, a trade union has warned.

** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, Friday close $24.05, down 1 pct premarket

General Electric vice chairman John Rice said on Sunday that despite the shaky global economy, he expected the firm’s infrastructure businesses in emerging markets to post 10-15 percent growth in the next five to 10 years.

** UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Friday close $104.27

Military contractor Sikorsky Aircraft, a division of United Technologies, has canceled temporary layoffs that had been scheduled to start on Monday, due to the U.S. government shutdown, spokesman Paul Jackson said on Sunday.

** DRYSHIPS INC, Friday close $3.78, down 6 pct after market

The drybulk shipper and offshore contract driller said on Friday it would offer up to $200 million of its common shares.

** MICHAEL KORS HOLDINGS LTD, Friday close $76.35

** COACH INC, Friday close $55.03

** RALPH LAUREN CORP, Friday close $166.69

China’s slowdown could be more than just a passing phase for the luxury goods sector, the head of British fashion house Burberry told French newspaper Les Echos in an interview published on Monday.

** TOWER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD, Friday close $7.63, down 5 pct premarket

A class action lawsuit was filed against the insurance company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday by a group of insurance buyers who purchased Tower Group’s securities between May 9, 2011 and Aug. 7, 2013.

The complaint said that during the period, Tower Group failed to properly estimate its loss reserve provisions as required by U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, and failed to properly allocate its goodwill and certain deferred tax assets.

** QUALCOMM INC, Friday close $68.02, down 2 pct premarket

BofA Merrill cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to theflyonthewall.com.

** NOBLE ENERGY INC, Friday close $67.23, down 1 pct premarket

The oil and gas company said flooding in Colorado last month would result in third-quarter output loss of 2 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d) at its DJ Basin. At the DJ Basin, second-quarter production averaged 90 MBoe/d. The Houston-based company also said well shut-ins and work delay caused by the flooding would impact fourth-quarter average volumes by 5-7 MBoe/d.

** IBM CORP, Friday close $184.10, down 1.4 pct premarket

Barclays Capital cut its rating on the IBM stock to “equal weight” from “overweight” and reduced its price target by $25 to $190. Analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a note that benefits from IBM’s analytics business seem to be offset by customers shifting to cloud computing and software-as-a-service platform.

** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, Friday close $18.47, up 2.3 pct premarket

Citigroup raised its price target on the chipmaker’s stock to $30 from $19, according to theflyonthewall.com.

** SPLUNK INC, Friday close $62.95, down 3 pct premarket

CLSA downgraded the big data company to ”underperform’ from “outperform”, saying the recent rise in the stock’s price leaves limited room for further growth.

“Splunk shares have gained over 140 percent since last November’s lows and we think the stock needs to consolidate lofty expectation,” analyst Ed Maguire wrote in a note. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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