October 8, 2013 / 1:24 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE- Tower, Talisman, J C Penney, Jamba, CombiMatrix

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open on Tuesday on faint signs of progress to resolve the fiscal standoff in Washington, although an agreement still remained elusive.

S&P 500 futures were up 1.1 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures up 9 points and Nasdaq 100 futures up 4.5 points.

** TOWER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD, Monday close $7.41, down 24 pct premarket

The company said it expects to increase its loss reserves by about $365 million, much higher than what the property and casualty insurer previously indicated.

** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Monday close $7.71, up 8 pct premarket

The struggling retailer reported a rise in same-store sales for September compared with August and said it was seeing positive signs in many areas of its business.

** JAMBA INC, Monday close $13.47, down 15 pct premarket

The smoothie store operator warned of a 3.4 percent fall in comparable-store sales in the current quarter, mainly due to a slowdown in consumer spending.

** COMBIMATRIX CORP, $2.88, up 17.3 pct premarket

The company said it signed an agreement with health insurer Three Rivers Provider Network for coverage of its diagnostic laboratory services.

Three Rivers offers healthcare access to more than 100 million members internationally, including 15 million in the United States, CombiMatrix said.

** ALCATEL-LUCENT, Monday close $3.85, up 2.6 pct premarket

The telecom equipment maker unveiled plans to cut an overall 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2015, hoping to save 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion) and turn the company around after years of losses.

** TALISMAN ENERGY INC, Monday close $12.75, up 8 pct premarket

Shares of the oil and gas producer surged after activist investor Carl Icahn said he has purchased about 61 million shares of the underperforming Canadian company and may seek a seat on its board.

** MOLYCORP INC, Monday close $7.97, up 3 pct premarket

The rare earths company said Chief Operating Officer Geoff Bedford would take over as chief executive from Dec. 2.

** XEROX CORP, Monday $10.4, down 1.4 pct premarket

The company said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating certain accounting practices at Affiliated Computer Services, which it bought in 2010 for $5.5 billion.

** NQ MOBILE INC, Monday close $20.92, down 6 pct premarket

The Chinese mobile internet service provider proposed an offering of up to $150 million of senior convertible notes.

NQ said it intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital needs and acquisitions.

** PSIVIDA CORP, Monday close $5.07, up 3 pct premarket

Northland Capital Markets initiated coverage on the drugmaker’s stock with an “outperform” rating, according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** VODAFONE GROUP, Monday close $35.14

Vodafone intends to increase its stake in its Indian subsidiary after the country cleared foreign companies to take full ownership of local carriers, a source familiar with the group’s plans said on Monday.

** AMAZON.COM INC, Monday close $310.03, up 0.2 pct premarket

A U.S. court ruled in favor of Amazon.com, which is locked in a dispute with International Business Machines over a $600 million cloud computing contract awarded by the Central Intelligence Agency, a court notice showed.

** PHH CORP, Monday close $25.92

The company said it is exploring splitting up its mortgage and auto fleet leasing businesses, and selling each of the units, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday.

** MOSAIC CO, Monday close $45.64

The U.S. fertilizer company lowered its outlook for 2013 global potash shipments, citing weaker demand in India and a delay in settling a second-half contract between its export agency Canpotex Ltd and China’s Sinofert Holdings Ltd.

** KYTHERA BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, $45.54, down 2 pct after market

The biotechnology company said it would offer its common shares to raise $100 million. The company did not disclose the number of shares it would offer or their pricing.

The company will use part of the proceeds to develop and market its experimental drug to reduce submental fat.

** MCKESSON, Monday close $129.63, up 4 pct premarket

Dow Jones Newswires reported that McKesson was in advanced talks to take over German drugs distributor Celesio in a possible 3.74 billion euro ($5.08 billion) deal.

** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, Monday close $5.33, down 1.5 pct premarket

Greece’s National Bank, the country’s largest lender by assets, is close to clinching a deal to sell a majority stake in real estate unit Pangaia to a U.S.-Israeli fund, the Kathimerini daily reported on Tuesday.

** KERYX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, Monday close $10.04, up 2.6 pct premarket

The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted the marketing approval application for its drug Zerenex, which is intended to treat high levels of phosphorus in patients with chronic kidney diseases on dialysis.

** NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC, Monday close $18.49, up 1.8 pct premarket

The speech recognition software maker said it appointed two Carl Icahn nominees to its board, more than a month after the activist investor said he may explore such a possibility. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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