March 25, 2014 / 1:23 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Endocyte, Sonic, Exelixis, G-III Apparel, Arlington

(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 edged higher on Tuesday, implying a modest rebound off the previous session's decline, though investors continued to watch global issues with caution. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.14 percent at 16,224, S&P 500 futures were up 0.44 percent at 1,857.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.44 percent at 3,627.

** SONIC CORP, Monday close $20.92, +6.12 pct premarket

The drive-in restaurant operator, on Monday, reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit, helped by a 1.4 percent rise in its same-store sales.

At least four brokerages increased their price targets on the restaurant chain’s stock.

** EXELIXIS INC, Monday close $6.27, +6.86 pct premarket

The drug developer said the European Commission granted conditional approval to its cancer drug, Cometriq, as a treatment for patients with medullary thyroid cancer.

The company said its partner, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum , would support marketing of the drug in the European Union through the end of 2015.

Cometriq was granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2012 as a treatment for progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer.

** ENDOCYTE INC, Monday close $27.22, +8.01 pct premarket

At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the drugmaker’s stock, saying that data from a lung-cancer study of its drug suggested that it could be more broadly utilized in other forms of cancer.

The Wedbush Investment Committee added the company to its “Best Ideas List,” saying its drug could generate peak sales of $430 million in the European Union as a treatment for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

Endocyte’s shares more than doubled on Friday after the company said its cancer drug was recommended for conditional approval in Europe for ovarian cancer and that the drug improved survival rates in lung cancer patients.

** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, Monday close $13.38, -8.59 pct premarket

Analysts at BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “under perform” from “buy,” saying they were concerned that Himax’s Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) display technology may not be progressing fast enough to achieve their estimates.

The analysts wrote that though the management was positive on LCoS, challenges such as applications, costs, power and technology suggested that growth could be more in 2015 or 2016 versus the second half of this year.

** NPS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $27.55, +5.66 pct premarket

Analysts at Goldman Sachs began covering the company’s stock with a “buy” rating, saying they expected sales of its short bowel syndrome drug outside the United States to be higher than the average analyst estimate.

The analysts also said Wall Street estimates assigned limited value to the company’s experimental thyroid disorder drug, which they expected to be approved by the U.S. health regulator by its October review date.

** THE WENDY‘S CO,, Monday close $9, +1.00 pct premarket

The quick-service hamburger chain operator said on Monday it had completed the sale of 104 restaurants to franchisees as part of its ‘System Optimization’ initiative. The company also said it expected to generate a higher operating margin and stronger free cash flow as a result of the initiative.

** G-III APPAREL GROUP LTD, Monday close $74.46, -7.32 pct premarket

The women’s sportswear apparel company said it could report a loss in the current quarter and forecast full-year 2015 results largely below the average analyst estimate.

The company said its first-quarter results would be negatively impacted by the acquisition of G.H. Bass & Co.

** ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT CORP, Monday close $28.38, -3.95 pct premarket

The asset manager said it had commenced an offering of 2.8 million shares of class A common stock. The company plans to use the proceeds for the acquisition of assets, including residential mortgage-backed securities, and for general working capital purposes.

** THE WALT DISNEY CO, Monday close $79.49, +1.14 pct premarket

** GOOGLE INC, Monday close $1,157.93, +0.70 pct premarket

The Walt Disney Co has agreed to buy Maker Studios, one of YouTube’s largest networks, for $500 million, in a deal that will make Disney a major online video distributor and should help draw more teens into the Disney entertainment empire.

** COMMSCOPE HOLDING COMPANY INC, Monday close $24.43, -1.35 pct premarket

The telecommunications equipment maker said it had begun a secondary offering to sell 17.5 million shares by an affiliate of the Carlyle Group LP.

CommScope said it would not receive any proceeds from the offering.

** GOOGLE INC, Monday close $1,157.93, +0.70 pct premarket

Luxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, has struck a deal to design, develop and distribute glasses based on Google’s Internet-connected Glass eyewear, potentially bringing the new technology to a wider market.

** CARLYLE GROUP LP, Monday close $31.67, +0.98 pct premarket

** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Monday close $61.07, -0.20 pct premarket

Private equity firm Carlyle Group said it appointed Mike Cavanagh, co-head of JPMorgan Chase & Co’s corporate and investment bank, as co-president and co-chief operating officer.

** CONVERGYS CORP, Monday close $21, +1.05 pct after market

Suntrust Robinson started coverage of the customer management services provider on Monday with a “buy” rating and a $26 target price.

** ARCELORMITTAL SA, Monday close $15.64, -0.70 pct premarket

Analysts at Kepler Cheuvreux downgraded their rating on the steelmaker’s stock to “reduce” from “hold” on Tuesday.

** BROOKFIELD RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTNERS LP, Monday close $28.3

The renewable energy provider said it would acquire the wind energy assets of Ireland-based Bord Gáis Energy for about 700 million euros ($964.8 million), in a move that will allow Brookfield to enter the European markets.

** DUCOMMUN INC, Monday close $23.7

The maker of aerospace structural and electro-mechanical components said it received contracts valued at $5.6 million from Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc, to make electronic assemblies and wiring harnesses for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft through January 2015. The V-22 Osprey uses tiltrotor technology which allows it to take off, land, and hover like a helicopter.

** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Monday close $35.14

Pressure built on General Motors on Monday to take steps to get 1.6 million of its recalled cars off the road immediately and to establish a compensation fund for consumers affected by the company’s faulty ignition switches linked to 12 deaths.

** ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC, Monday close $10.09, +1.19 pct premarket

Royal Bank of Scotland has had contact regarding the possible sale of its U.S. retail business Citizens with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has also considered a bid, people with knowledge of the matter said.

** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, Monday close $4.52, -1.77 pct premarket

** ARCH COAL INC, Monday close $4.69, -3.62 pct premarket

Analysts at Jefferies & Co cut their price targets on the coal miners’ stocks, saying they expect coal demand to stay weak due to depressed natural gas prices.

** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, Monday close $3.83

More work needs to be done to develop Halcón Resources Corp’s oil and natural gas assets before the company can be sold, Chief Executive Floyd Wilson said on Monday.

** REALD INC, Monday close $11.1, +4.50 pct after market

The 3D technology licensor extended its agreement with Wanda Cinema Line Corp to install an additional 780 RealD 3D cinema systems across China on Monday. Under the agreement, RealD has been named the exclusive 3D technology provider for Wanda Cinema Line. (Reporting By Shuhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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