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U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, implying a rebound from the previous session as investors used the drop to add to positions and looked ahead to the release of some key corporate reports for further incentives: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.68 percent at 16,536, S&P 500 futures were up 0.56 percent at 1,935.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.58 percent at 3,972.
** BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY, Wednesday close $137.65
Sharp drops in many of the stocks owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in recent weeks hit the sprawling conglomerate’s equity portfolio hard. The loss on seven of those holdings alone totals more than $5 billion, provided Berkshire’s stakes have remained the same since June 30, the last date for which they were disclosed.
** BOEING CO, Wednesday close $121.45
The aircraft maker reported an 18 percent increase in quarterly profit and raised its full-year core earnings forecast for the third time, reflecting booming commercial aircraft demand and increasing profitability in its defense business.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $102.99, +0.74 pct premarket
Chief Executive Tim Cook said the iPhone maker is planning to open 25 retail stores in China within the next two years, according to a Chinese transcript of an interview posted by web portal Sina.com.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Wednesday close $44.38
The Windows maker looks set to ditch the Nokia name from its Lumia range of smartphones just months after buying the Finnish company’s handset business.
According to a post on Nokia France's Facebook page on Tuesday, the page will change its name to Microsoft Lumia "in the coming days." (here)
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Wednesday close $47.61, +1.34 pct premarket
The No. 1 U.S. chemical maker by sales, said it was looking to cut fixed costs by $1 billion over the next three years, building on reductions that have helped boost margins.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Wednesday close $91.63, +0.98 pct premarket
The Chinese e-commerce giant is looking to expand its entertainment content offering on its Internet television set-top boxes through deals with studios in the United States, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
** CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG, Wednesday close $26.01, +1.27 pct premarket
The Switzerland-based company reported a stronger-than-expected third quarter profit, bolstered by its investment bank, which benefited from a rise in bond-trading and fees from the multi-billion dollar listing of Alibaba.
** GOOGLE INC, Wednesday close $542.69, +0.68 pct premarket
The Internet giant launched an email service called “Inbox” on Wednesday that will better organize emails and display information such as appointments, flight bookings and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way.
** UNILEVER PLC, Wednesday close $40.48, -2.35 pct premarket
The fast moving consumer goods company posted its weakest quarterly sales growth in nearly five years, as Europe’s persistent woes and a slowdown in emerging markets including China crimped its performance.
** PHILLIPS 66, Wednesday close $75.39
The company on Wednesday said it expected its facility capable of unloading 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day from trains at its Ferndale refinery in Washington state to be operational in November.
** SELECT COMFORT CORP, Wednesday close $21.58, +13.3 pct after market
The mattress maker raised its full-year profit forecast after its quarterly profit and revenue beat average analyst expectation, driven by demand for its Sleep Number adjustable mattresses.
** BGC PARTNERS INC, Wednesday close $7.59
** GFI GROUP INC, Wednesday close $5.18
Interdealer broker BGC went ahead with the formal launch of its hostile $675 million bid for rival GFI on Wednesday after talks between the two companies reached a deadlock.
** ACACIA RESEARCH CORP, Wednesday close $15.23, +7.7 pct after market
The company, which buys and licenses patent rights, reported third-quarter profit and revenue that beat the average analyst expectation, helped by lower costs and increased license revenue.
** CHEESECAKE FACTORY INC, Wednesday close $44.5, -5.2 pct after market
The restaurant and bakery operator posted a lower-than-expected third-quarter profit as a 6.3 percent rise in revenue was more than offset by a 7.9 percent increase in expenses.
** OPEN TEXT CORP, Wednesday close $9.95
The Canadian business software maker’s quarterly profit more than doubled, driven by demand for its cloud computing services.
** CORE LABORATORIES NV, Wednesday close $140.09, -7.9 pct after market
The reservoir management company reported a lower-than-expected third-quarter revenue and gave a fourth-quarter profit outlook below the average analyst estimate.
** TRACTOR SUPPLY CO, Wednesday close $61.3, +11.7 pct after market
The company, which operates U.S. retail farm and ranch stores, raised its full-year sales, profit forecast to high end of previous outlook after third-quarter profit and revenue beat the average analyst estimate.
** AIR METHODS CORP, Wednesday close $55.49, -20.5 pct after market
The air medical transportation company’s estimated its third-quarter profit of 83-87 cents per share, well short of the average analysts’ estimate of $1.08.
** VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $80.99, -4.3 pct after market
The medical device maker’s fourth-quarter profit and sales missed the average analyst expectation, hurt by sharp increase in tax rate and delay in order for installation at Maryland Proton Therapy Center.
** CITRIX SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $64.78, -5.1 pct after market
The cloud-computing software maker said it expects 2014 revenue of $3.13 billion-$3.14 billion, below the average analyst estimate of $3.18 billion. The company’s third-quarter revenue missed the average analyst estimate.
** POLYCOM INC, Wednesday close $11.42
The video-conferencing equipment maker reported a quarterly profit, helped by a rise in demand for its personal devices.
** YELP INC, Wednesday close $70.23, -11.22 pct premarket
The operator of consumer review website Yelp.com forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ average estimate.
** FORTINET INC, Wednesday close $25.17
The security software maker on Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as businesses spent more to protect their networks and data.
** AT&T INC, Wednesday close $34.5
The telecom company posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter profit and revenue. Revenue rose 2.5 percent to $33 billion, just shy of the average analysts’ estimate of $33.2 million.
** DELPHI AUTOMOTIVE PLC, Wednesday close $64.42
The auto parts maker is looking to sell its business that makes heating and cooling systems for cars, and will seek as much as $1 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
** XEROX CORP, Wednesday close $12.21
The company on Wednesday reported a 2 percent fall in third-quarter revenue due to tepid growth in its services business and slowing demand in the printing business.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday close $57.45
JPMorgan executives in New York were aware of potential problems tied to its recruitment practices in China well before U.S. regulators launched a probe into the issue, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources and documents it reviewed.
** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, Wednesday close $37.37
Diamond Offshore reported a lower third-quarter profit, hurt by a non-cash impairment charge of $109 million before tax as a result of retiring and scrapping six semisubmersible rigs.
** CENOVUS ENERGY INC, Wednesday close $23.34
Canada’s No.2 independent oil producer said its quarterly profit fell 4 percent, hurt by an unplanned outage at a refinery. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore)