July 31, 2014 / 12:17 PM / 4 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. Stocks on the Move-Yum Brands, Whole Foods Market, Avon Products

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U.S. stock index e-mini futures fell on Thursday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.46 percent at 16,743, S&P 500 futures were down 0.48 percent at 1,955.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.55 percent at 3,946.75.

** MCDONALD’S CORP, Wednesday close $95.95, -1.15 pct premarket

** YUM BRANDS INC, Wednesday close $73, -6.15 pct premarket

A food safety scare in China is testing local consumers’ loyalty to foreign fast-food brands, including McDonald’s and Yum Brands, which owns the KFC and Pizza Hut chains.

** WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC, Wednesday close $39.11, -4.50 pct premarket

The company cut on Wednesday its 2014 forecasts for the fourth time as it battles growing competition in the natural and organic grocery sector it dominates.

Brokerages SunTrust Robinson, JP Morgan and Jefferies cut their price targets on the company’s stock.

** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Wednesday close $102.3, -0.49 pct premarket

The company said on Wednesday it planned to ask doctors to return its power morcellators, a controversial surgical device that may inadvertently spread cancer in women being treated for uterine growths called fibroids.

** BBVA BANCO FRANCES, Wednesday close $13.93, +0.00 pct premarket

** YPF SA, Wednesday close $38.91, -0.77 pct premarket

** GRUPO FINANCIERO GALICIA, Wednesday close $16.96, -0.35 pct premarket

U.S.-listed shares of the Argentina-based companies are set to open lower as Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after hopes for a midnight deal with holdout creditors were dashed, raising chances a recession could worsen this year.

** QUINTILES TRANSNATIONAL HOLDINGS INC, Wednesday close $56.82, +0.32 pct premarket

The world’s largest medical contract research provider posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher growth in its integrated healthcare services segment.

** ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC, Wednesday close $67.75

The specialty healthcare company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a 60 percent rise in U.S. generic sales, and the company raised its full-year forecast.

** DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC, Wednesday close $83.71

The company reported a 10 percent rise in second-quarter revenue, helped by a 23 percent jump in advertising sales in its international networks.

** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, Wednesday close $25.64, -0.55 pct premarket

The industrial conglomerate’s credit card unit, Synchrony Financial, priced its initial public offering of 25 million shares at $23 per share, raising nearly $3 billion. The company is valued at about $19 billion at the offer price, the biggest U.S. IPO so far this year. Synchrony Financial is expected to debut on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SYF”.

GE plans to repurchase stock with proceeds of Synchrony share swap, says Tim McAleenan, who runs a long-term dividend investing website, in a Seeking Alpha report (bit.ly/1lfx0g2)

“This spin-off has an element of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” to it, as the consumer private label credit card division is a sturdy cash cow,” says McAleenan.

** AVON PRODUCTS INC, Wednesday close $12.99, +4.00 pct premarket

The direct seller of beauty products reported a 40 percent fall in quarterly profit, but its costs fell 13 percent and the company’s efforts to boost sales in Brazil, its biggest market, seem to be having an effect.

** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $98.15, -0.87 pct premarket

The company may be planning to launch the next version of its iPhone on Oct. 14, rather than its usual September launch, news blog MacRumors reported, citing sources. Analysts expect a staggered launch of new iPhones, with a 4.7-inch flagship launching in late September, followed by a 5.5-inch phablet around November.

** TETRA TECH INC, Wednesday close $26.78

The engineering and program management services provider reported a lower-than-expected third-quarter profit, hurt by weakness at its remediation and construction management business. The company forecast fourth-quarter earnings, below the average analyst estimate.

** TYSON FOODS INC, Wednesday close $38.2, -0.52 pct premarket

The biggest U.S. meat processor priced its offering of 23.81 million Class A shares at $37.80 per share on Wednesday. The offering represents nearly 7 percent of the total outstanding shares.

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, Wednesday close $151.42, +0.05 pct premarket

The second-largest U.S. cable TV operator reported a 3.7 percent rise in quarterly profit as it signed up more residential subscribers to its high-speed data services.

** TIMKEN CO, Wednesday close $46.5, -1.08 pct premarket

The company reported a 24 percent drop in quarterly profit, partly hurt by lower demand for its ball bearings and power transmission components from the automotive and mining industry.

** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Wednesday close $15.58, -0.58 pct premarket

A federal judge ordered the bank on Wednesday to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for fraud over shoddy mortgages sold by the former Countrywide Financial Corp.

** AMC NETWORKS INC, Wednesday close $61.06

The company is in talks to take a minority stake in BBC America, the Wall Street Journal cited on Wednesday people familiar with the matter as saying, in a deal that will team two smaller production houses known for high-quality programming.

** KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $57.24, -2.00 pct after market

The company said on Wednesday that its second-quarter revenue barely rose as price increases it implemented to cover rising commodity costs hurt consumer demand.

** YELP INC, Wednesday close $75.6, -4.13 pct premarket

The operator of consumer review website Yelp.com reported its first quarterly profit, but its local business accounts growth came lower than analysts had expected.

“(Yelp’s local business accounts) increased about 5,900 sequentially, we were looking closer to about 7,700 merchant heads,” Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler said, lowering the stock to “market perform” from “outperform.”

** TRW AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS CORP, Wednesday close $101.75

Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG is in advanced talks to acquire the U.S.-based company for nearly $12 billion, in a deal that would create an automotive supply powerhouse, according to people familiar with the matter.

** ALLSTATE CORP, Wednesday close $56.89, +2.00 pct after market

The largest publicly traded home and auto insurer in the United States reported a 49 percent jump in quarterly profit as costs fell and the company took in more premiums.

** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $60.73, -5.32 pct premarket

The company, which helps companies deliver internet content, reported a 26 percent rise in quarterly revenue, falling short of investor hopes that it would exceed its own forecast due to heavy World Cup traffic.

** LIVEPERSON INC, Wednesday close $10.16, +11.61 pct premarket

The customer service software developer reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and it raised its current-quarter revenue forecast to above the average analyst estimate.

** WEIGHT WATCHERS INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $21.01, -3.00 pct after market

The company said it expected 2015 profit to take a hit as it cuts down on marketing expenses to focus on technology upgrades to better compete with diet apps and calorie-counting gadgets.

** VISTAPRINT NV, Wednesday close $37.73, +21.00 pct after market

The online designing and printing services company reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and it forecast its full-year 2015 revenue above analysts’ expectations.

** MOBILEIRON INC, Wednesday close $8.5, +21.00 pct after market

The mobile software maker reported higher-than-expected second-quarter revenue on Wednesday and it forecast its current-quarter revenue above expectations.

Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the company’s stock to $14 from $13.

** EHEALTH INC, Wednesday close $31.65, -27.17 pct premarket

The health insurance exchange lowered its full-year revenue and adjusted net income forecasts.

Jefferies and Deutsche Bank cut their price targets on the stock.

** NQ MOBILE INC, Wednesday close $7.44, -0.27 pct premarket

The Chinese mobile security software maker said it received a buyout offer from investment firm Bison Capital Holding Co for about $490 million.

** GOOGLE INC, Wednesday close $595.44, -0.91 pct premarket

European regulators are preparing what could be a stern challenge to Google’s mobile software business in the coming months after a nearly four-year investigation into the company’s Web search practices left rivals and European politicians dissatisfied.

** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $74.677, -0.76 pct premarket

The company is launching a mobile app that gives users in Zambia free access to a handful of online services on mobile phones, broadening an effort to boost Internet usage in underdeveloped countries.

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Wednesday close $51.76, -0.41 pct premarket

The top U.S. telecommunications regulator said on Wednesday he is “deeply troubled” by Verizon’s plan to slow data downloads for some high-speed wireless customers remaining on the older unlimited data plans.

** METLIFE INC, Wednesday close $54.44

The insurer reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as the largest U.S. life insurer paid out more in claims. Policyholder claims and dividends paid out in the latest quarter rose nearly 9 percent to $9.96 billion, more than offsetting an 8 percent rise in premium revenue.

** CARLYLE GROUP LP, Wednesday close $34.71

The private equity firm said on Wednesday its second-quarter earnings doubled from a year earlier as one of its European buyout funds started paying performance fees, highlighting the growth potential of its private equity business in Europe.

** THOMSON REUTERS CORP, Wednesday close $37.99

The news and information company reported on Wednesday a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on a 1 percent rise in revenue, boosted by growth in its Tax & Accounting and Legal divisions.

Brokerages Nomura, RBC and CIBC raised their price targets on the company’s stock. (Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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