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U.S. stock index e-mini futures were slightly higher on Monday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.24 percent at 16,456, S&P 500 futures were up 0.30 percent at 1,924.25 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.33 percent at 3,886.
** PIKE CORP, Friday close $7.96, +48.62 pct premarket
The specialty construction and engineering firm would be taken private by investment firm Court Square Capital Partners and CEO J. Eric for about $383 million. The offer of $12/share represents premium of about 51 pct to stock’s Friday close.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS, Friday close $14.26, +8.98 pct premarket
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is willing to work with companies testing Ebola drugs. An FDA official told Reuters that the agency would consider special emergency new drug applications as Ebola outbreak intensifies in West Africa. Earlier this month, FDA put hold on a clinical trial of Tekmira’s TKM-Ebola. The company started the early-stage clinical trial for the treatment in January and was granted fast-track status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 5.
** NOBLE CORP PLC, Friday close $31.08, -12.07 pct premarket
** TRANSOCEAN LTD, Friday close $40.44, -2.27 pct premarket
** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, Friday close $47.32, -4.67 pct premarket
Deutsche Bank downgraded the offshore drilling companies, citing deterioration in the market and supply glut. Deutsche Bank downgraded Transocean to “sell” from “hold”, Noble Corp to “hold” from “buy”, Diamond Offshore to “sell’ from “hold”, Ensco Plc to “sell” from “hold”. Deutsche also cut price target on these companies and Rowan Companies Plc
** MICHAEL KORS HOLDINGS LTD, Friday close $81.83, -3.70 pct premarket
The stock reversed premarket gains after the company forecast lower margins for the second quarter. The company reported a 43 percent rise in first-quarter revenue, helped by higher sales of handbags and watches in North America.
** AMGEN INC, Friday close $125.55, +3.39 pct premarket
The company said a late-stage study found that its blood cancer drug helped patients live significantly longer without the disease worsening, compared with standard treatment.
** U.S. STEEL CORP, Friday close $33.44, +1.94 pct premarket
** STEEL DYNAMICS INC, Friday close $20.92, +1.48 pct premarket
KeyBanc Capital Markets upgraded the steelmakers to “buy” from “hold”, citing a recovery in demand and momentum in sheet and carbon steel pricing. Deutsche Bank also raised its rating on U.S. Steel to “buy” from “hold” after the company said it expects third-quarter results to improve “significantly”. Deutsche Bank increased its price target on U.S. Steel’s stock to $40 from $28.
** EVERCORE PARTNERS INC, Friday close $50.13
Boutique investment bank Evercore Partners said on Sunday it plans to acquire the operating business of ISI International Strategy & Investment, an independent research-driven equity sales and agency trading firm.
** KKR & CO LP, Friday close $22.89
Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates is opening its books to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP after the private equity giant hiked its takeover offer to $3.15 billion, raising the prospect of a bidding war for the world’s No.2 winemaker.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Friday close $170.25
Wall Street firms led by Goldman Sachs are close to buying a stake in chat and instant messaging startup Perzo Inc in pursuit of an alternative to a similar application from Bloomberg LP, sources familiar with Goldman’s plans said.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Friday close $33.44
The automaker said on Sunday that it had asked its main Chinese supplier to find an alternative source of components after an explosion ripped through a factory a day earlier killing at least 69 people. (Reporting By Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)