(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 pointed to a modestly higher open on Thursday as a surprise drop in retail sales pointed to a consumer that continued to struggle, but also eased some concern about how soon the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.53 percent at 17,731, S&P 500 futures were up 0.42 percent at 2,048 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.05 percent at 4,305.25.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $184.18, +0.86 pct premarket
** MORGAN STANLEY, Wednesday close $34.95, +3.20 pct premarket
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday close $60.24, +0.60 pct premarket
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Wednesday close $16.11, -0.25 pct premarket
** CITIGROUP, Wednesday close $52.33, +3.38 pct premarket
Four of the largest U.S. banks just scraped by in an annual Federal Reserve check-up on the industry’s health, underscoring their top regulator’s enduring doubts about Wall Street’s resilience more than six years after the crisis.
Citigroup passed the test, allowing it to raise its payouts after failing last year for the second time in three years.
** ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $44.76, -21.69 pct premarket
Acadia said it had delayed submitting a U.S. marketing application for its lead drug, nuplazid, and that its chief executive was retiring..
** LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HOLDINGS INC, Wednesday close $32.73, +5.13 pct premarket
The company, facing U.S. government probes over claims of dangerous levels of a cancer-causing substance in its flooring products, stood by the safety of its products and said it would offer free indoor air quality testing for qualifying customers.
** INOGEN INC, Wednesday close $37.34, -16.98 pct premarket
The medical technology company postponed fourth-quarter and full -year earnings release and conference call scheduled for March 12, saying it discovered potential accounting issues in the current quarter.
** AMARIN CORP, Wednesday close $1.94, +14.43 pct premarket
H.C. Wainwright & Co quadruples price target on the Irish drugmaker’s shares to $10, citing company’s affirmation to fund trial evaluating effectiveness of experimental drug in reducing cardiovascular events. H.C. Wainwright & Co upgrades stock to “buy”.
** DOLLAR GENERAL STORES INC, Wednesday close $71.45, +2.45 pct premarket
The company forecast full-year earnings below analysts’ expectations as it plans to open more stores ahead of a merger of its rivals Family Dollar Stores Inc and Dollar Tree Inc.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $122.24, +0.16 pct premarket
Apple’s iTunes and App Store came back online on Wednesday afternoon after an unusually long service disruption that the company blamed on an internal technical error.
** ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC, Wednesday close $87.76
** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Wednesday close $168.61
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $193.71
Endo offered to buy Salix for about $11 billion in cash and stock, trumping an agreed bid by Canada’s Valeant.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Wednesday close $81.99, +0.50 pct premarket
The world’s largest e-commerce firm has begun hunting staff in Seattle, home turf of Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, focusing on savvy cloud computing hires as it ramps up U.S. operations.
** BOX INC, Wednesday close $20.53, -17.68 pct premarket
The cloud storage provider posted a bigger loss due to higher operating expenses, in its first quarterly report as a public company.
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, Wednesday close $6.12, -1.47 pct premarket
BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the coal miner’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral,” citing lower forecast for coal prices. Analysts also cut price target to $5 from $7.
** SHAKE SHACK INC, Wednesday close $46.9, -7.25 pct premarket
The hamburger chain operator said it expects slowing same-restaurant sales growth in 2015 on Wednesday and swung to 4th-qtr loss in first quarterly report as public company.
** UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Wednesday close $118.34, +2.16 pct premarket
United Technologies will explore spinning off its Sikorsky helicopter unit, in the first major move by the company’s new chief executive to overhaul the U.S. conglomerate’s portfolio of businesses.
** CYBERARK SOFTWARE LTD, Wednesday close $55.6, -6.69 pct premarket
The Israel-based cyber software maker said it would offer 4 million shares at $51 each. CyberArk shares closed at $55.60 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. The company had filed for a secondary offering on Tuesday.
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, Wednesday close $64.44, +2.96 pct premarket
The drugmaker is expected to report positive news on its key heart drug Brilinta when full clinical trial results are presented at weekend. The company had said in January that its blood-thinner cut the risk of death or heart attack in patients with a history of previous attacks, but details will only be released at American College of Cardiology meeting on March 14.
** LEVY ACQUISITION CORP, Wednesday close $9.95, +6.53 pct premarket
The blank-check acquisition vehicle of Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy, said it would buy U.S. fast-food chain Del Taco Inc for about $500 million, including debt.
** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, Wednesday close $25.19, +0.48 pct premarket
General Electric is considering making deeper cuts in its banking business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, Wednesday close $9.01, +6.10 pct premarket
The solar panel maker said it expects higher 2015 shipments as its fourth-quarter profit and revenue exceeded analysts’ expectation, helped by strong China demand. (Compiled by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)