(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. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday ahead of data on the labor market and economic growth that may help investors assess whether a wind-down of Federal Reserve stimulus is imminent. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.09 percent at 15,872, S&P 500 futures were unchanged at 1,791.8 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.20 percent at 3,489.5.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $565, +2.09 pct premarket
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said on Wednesday that he has filed a shareholder proposal with the iPhone maker for a much smaller stock buyback plan than he has advocated previously, as he continued to pressure Apple to share more of its cash pile.
China Mobile Ltd, China’s largest mobile operator, has signed a long-awaited deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter.
** NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC, Wednesday close $14.15, +2.76 pct premarket
Activist investor Carl Icahn on Wednesday reported an 18.7 percent stake in the maker of software that runs the Siri feature on Apple Inc's iPhones, up from his earlier stake of almost 17 percent. (link.reuters.com/bus25v)
Icahn has been raising his stake in the company. In October, Nuance agreed to Icahn’s board nominees including his son Brett Icahn.
** ROYAL BANK OF CANADA, Wednesday close $64.61
Canada’s largest bank said its quarterly profit rose 11 percent, driven by stronger retail banking and capital markets income.
Separately, the bank said Chief Executive Gordon Nixon would retire effective Aug. 1, after 13 years at the helm.
** MAVENIR SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $9.70, +4.00 pct after market
The software maker reported a 52 percent rise in third-quarter revenue on Wednesday, helped by a rise in the number of customers.
Deutsche Bank started covering the company’s stock on Thursday with a “buy” rating, according to Benzinga.com.
** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, Wednesday close $56.89
The suit and tuxedo retailer, the target of a takeover offer from bigger rival Men’s Wearhouse Inc, reported a 2 percent rise in quarterly profit as new promotions boosted total sales.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, Wednesday close $9.36, -7.91 pct premarket
The apparel retailer forecast a much bigger-than-expected loss for the holiday shopping quarter as it struggles to keep up with the tastes of young shoppers.
** GUESS INC, Wednesday close $33.34
The apparel retailer cut its full-year revenue forecast, saying it expected a bigger fall in European sales in the holiday-shopping quarter.
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $122.97, -1.42 pct premarket
The retailer’s November same-store sales fell short of analysts’ expectations, as lower gasoline prices and weak foreign currencies dampened a 5 percent increase in the company’s monthly net sales.
** SAFEWAY INC, Wednesday close $34.21
Activist investor Jana Partners LLC said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it reduced its stake in the grocer and it was pleased with the steps it has taken to exit the Chicago market and review its business.
** RENESOLA LTD, Wednesday close $4.53, -7.06 pct premarket
The Chinese solar products maker recorded a $202.8 million impairment charge for the third quarter, mainly related to the shutdown of a part of a polysilicon factory in Sichuan.
** MCKESSON CORP, Wednesday close $162.74
The largest U.S. drugs wholesaler said it launched a tender offer to buy outstanding shares of German peer Celesio , as it moved ahead to prevent hedge fund Elliott International from potentially blocking the multi-billion dollar deal. (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)