June 10, 2014 / 12:22 PM / 4 years ago

CORRECTED-MARKET PULSE-Achillion, Basic Energy, Francesca's, PPL, Sprint

(Corrects item on PPL Corp to say Riverstone is not buying its energy unit, but the two companies are combining their merchant power generation businesses) U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Tuesday, as investors found few reasons to keep buying with the Dow and S&P 500 just off the latest in a string of records. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.14 percent at 16,913, S&P 500 futures were down 0.21 percent at 1,946.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.20 percent at 3,786.

** SPRINT CORP, Monday close $8.77, +2.39 pct premarket

Macquarie upgraded the telecom service operator’s stock to “outperform”.

** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Monday close $4.25, +34.59 pct premarket

The biotechnology company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted a hold on one of its most promising experimental hepatitis C drug, sovaprevir, nearly a year after it was first imposed.

JMP Securities analysts raised their target price on the stock to “market outperform” from “market perform”, saying that Merck & Co ‘s planned acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals leaves Achillion as the only unencumbered, clinical-stage, hepatitis C (HCV) nucleotide-analog company with several potential acquirers in the wings, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson.

** FRANCESCA’S HOLDINGS CORP, Monday close $15.28, -9.36 pct premarket

The women’s apparel retailer reported a 21 percent drop in first-quarter profit as sales fell at its boutiques due to a harsh winter and the company offered discounts to clear off an inventory pile-up.

** TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC, Monday close $36.21

Chase Carey, the president and chief operating officer of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, signed a contract to stay with the media company for up to two years, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.

** SUNCOR ENERGY INC, Monday close $39.77, +0.33 pct premarket

Brokerage Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the energy company’s shares to “buy” from “hold”.

** BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC, Monday close $27.76, -4.54 pct premarket

The oilfield services provider said on Monday it was offering six million shares for sale on behalf of shareholders DLJ Merchant Banking Partners III LP and some related funds.

** RADIOSHACK CORP, Monday close $1.54, -14.29 pct premarket

The U.S. electronics retailer reported a bigger quarterly loss, hurt by higher promotions in its smart phones and tablets business and weak sales of consumer electronics.

** METLIFE INC, Monday close $54.66, +1.85 pct premarket

The insurer said it would buy back up to $1 billion of its common stock, using existing authorizations from its board. The company has 1.13 billion shares outstanding, valued at $61.52 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

** B/E AEROSPACE INC, Monday close $98.88, -2.91 pct premarket

The aircraft seat maker and parts distributor, said it would split into two independent, publicly traded companies, as part of an ongoing strategic review of the company.

** RECEPTOS INC, Monday close $29.2, +34.76 pct premarket

The biotechnology company said on Monday its experimental multiple sclerosis drug met the main goal in a mid-stage trial.

** EBAY INC, Monday close $49.58, -1.53 pct premarket

** FACEBOOK INC, Monday close $62.88, +0.65 pct premarket

David Marcus, who has led eBay’s fast-growing payments unit PayPal for the past two years, will step down this month to run Facebook’s messaging products, the companies announced on Monday.

** CITIGROUP INC, Monday close $49.58, -0.26 pct premarket

A lawsuit by the City of Los Angeles accusing Citigroup of mortgage discrimination can go forward, a federal judge ruled on Monday, turning down the bank’s motion to dismiss the case stemming from last decade’s real estate boom.

** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Monday close $36.5, -0.52 pct premarket

Victims of the crash of a Saturn Ion in 2004 have filed a lawsuit against the carmaker to reopen a settlement and accusing it of fraud.

** INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, Monday close $14.31, +0.91 pct premarket

The Las Vegas-based slot machine maker hired Morgan Stanley to explore a sale as the gaming industry pursues consolidation to combat slow growth, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

** NETFLIX INC, Monday close $423.09, +0.69 pct premarket

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Monday close $49.57, -0.32 pct premarket

Netflix said on Monday it will stop sending messages that blame Verizon’s broadband service for slow delivery of its TV shows and movies, a move that may defuse tension between the two over Internet congestion.

** AT&T INC, Monday close $35.01, -0.17 pct premarket

AT&T settled a lawsuit over its refusal to carry the U.S. news channel of Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, according to records in Delaware’s Court of Chancery. The parties have agreed to a settlement and jointly asked judge Sam Glasscock to dismiss the case.

** SONY CORP, Monday close $16.3, -0.18 pct premarket

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc of the Sony Corp said it will release a PlayStation TV set-top box for $99 in North America this fall, through which users will be able to access movies and TV episodes from the PlayStation store.

** PPL CORP, Monday close $34.22, +3.01 pct premarket

PPL and power investment firm Riverstone Holdings LLC said on Monday they would combine their merchant power generation businesses into a new stand-alone, publicly traded independent power producer.

** ON SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, Monday close $8.98, +2.00 pct premarket

the maker of power-management chips, said it would buy Aptina Imaging for about $400 million in cash to accelerate its growth in the automotive and industrial markets.

** CHICO’S FAS INC, Monday close $15.37, +15.48 pct premarket

The womenswear chain is exploring a sale to private equity and has discussed a deal with potential suitors that could lead to one of the largest take-private transactions so far this year, the Financial Times reported. The final asking price could not be ascertained but an industry source told the paper that Chico's would likely command a premium of about 30 per cent to its $2.36 billion market capitalization. (link.reuters.com/tug99v) (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore)

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