(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; 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 up on Thursday, after two days of declines on the S&P 500, ahead of data on the labor market and factory orders. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures were up 0.19 percent at 18,121, S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.19 percent at 2,100.5 and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures were up 0.22 percent at 4,454.
** ABBVIE INC, Wednesday close $60.27, -4.68 pct premarket
** PHARMACYCLICS INC, Wednesday close $230.48, +10.68 pct premarket
AbbVie will buy Pharmacyclics for about $21 billion, giving it access to what is expected to be one of the world’s top-selling cancer drugs and expanding its reach in the profitable oncology field. The deal, the latest example of a big drugmaker swooping on a biotech firm to refill its medicine pipeline, confounds expectations that Pharmacyclics would sell out to Johnson & Johnson.
** ARROWHEAD RESEARCH CORP, Wednesday close $7.51, +11.45 pct premarket
The drug developer said it acquired Novartis AG’s RNAi assets, including various patents and three preclinical drugs.
** AVIVA PLC, Wednesday close $16.36, +5.50 pct premarket
The insurer reported a forecast-beating yearly profit, lifting its shares to a multi-year high ahead of a 5.6 billion pound ($8.5 billion) agreed merger due to complete next month. Aviva is acquiring Friends Life Group Ltd as changes in the UK pensions market put pressure on life insurance companies, leading to a drop in their sales of income-bearing annuities.
** JOY GLOBAL INC, Wednesday close $42.13, -6.72 pct premarket
Joy Global cut its full-year earnings and revenue outlook. The company said, “Lower commodity prices have decreased our customers’ cash flows and they are continuing to reduce capital expenditures and delay maintenance in an uncertain demand environment.”
** ENCANA CORP, Wednesday close $12.27, -3.67 pct premarket
Canada’s largest natural gas producer said it plans to raise up to C$1.44 billion ($1.16 billion) through a secondary share issue as the company looks to bolster a balance sheet weakened by low oil and natural gas prices.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, Wednesday close $30.18, +4.17 pct premarket
Fourth-quarter net profit attributable to the company more than tripled, helped by strong sales of solar power plants and demand for modules. The company is planning to structure and potentially list its downstream business, or power plant building business, in a yield co, Chief Executive Shawn Qu said.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, Wednesday close $1.01, +6.93 pct premarket
The Canadian drug developer presented data at a conference on a combination of its lead cancer drug along with radiationtherapy in treating melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Data showed, reolysin, when combined with radiationtherapy, was effective in destroying cancer cells.
** SECOND SIGHT MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, Wednesday close $14.91, +17.64 pct premarket
The artificial retina maker completed its first commercial implant of Argus II Retinal Prosthesis at two new centers in Italy. Argus II is the first visual prosthetic that provides functional vision to patients suffering from inherited vision loss.
** KROGER CO, Wednesday close $69.65, +5.67 pct premarket
The biggest U.S. supermarket operator reported a 23 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by its acquisition of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc and higher margins on fuel.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, Wednesday close $15.96, +2.13 pct premarket
At least 11 brokerages, including Barclays, raised price targets on the teen apparel retailer’s stock after the company reported fourth-quarter sales and profit above estimates on Wednesday.
** MALLINCKRODT PLC, Wednesday close $116.19, +2.38 pct premarket
The specialty pharmaceutical company said it would buy privately held drug and device maker Ikaria Inc for $2.3 billion to increase its product offerings to hospitals.
** APOLLO COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FINANCE INC, Wednesday close $17.52, -3.94 pct premarket
The real estate investment trust is offering of 10 million shares. The company had 46.90 million shares outstanding as of March 4.
** MCDONALD’S CORP, Wednesday close $100.25, -0.55 pct premarket
Piper Jaffrey cut the rating on the world’s biggest restaurant chain’s shares to “neutral” from “overweight” on Wednesday after the company said it will phase out chicken raised with certain kinds of antibiotics at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants.
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $147.17, +2.60 pct premarket
The third-largest U.S. retailer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a tax benefit related to its special cash dividend last month.
** ROUNDY’S INC, Wednesday close $4.02, +5.72 pct premarket
The grocery chain operator reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, mainly due to benefit of new and acquired stores in Illinois and an additional week.
** PACIFIC ETHANOL INC, Wednesday close $9.33, +10.40 pct premarket
The ethanol producer reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by a rise in sales volumes.
** VANDA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $11.06, -6.87 pct premarket
The drugmaker’s experimental atopic dermatitis drug failed to treat chronic itching in mid-stage study. Study data showed no statistical difference between patients on drug, tradipitant, and those on placebo.
** HERITAGE INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC, Wednesday close $20, +1.55 pct premarket
The insurer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher premium income. Net premiums earned more than doubled to $81.5 million in the quarter ended Dec 31.
** ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $1.69, -1.18 pct premarket
The communication services company reported bigger fourth-quarter net loss, hurt by higher operating expenses.
** MACERICH CO, Wednesday close $83.8, +6.16 pct premarket
** SIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC, Wednesday close $187.56, +0.00 pct premarket
Simon Property, the owner of malls and outlet centers, made its latest approach to buy rival Macerich in the past few weeks, according to a Wall Street Journal report. (on.wsj.com/1ALzqcD) (Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru)