(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. stocks were little changed in choppy early trading on Wednesday after data from China appeared to make a case for further stimulus measures from Beijing, while investors braced for a possible hike in U.S. interest rates next month. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.12 percent at 17,694, S&P 500 futures were down 0.14 percent at 2,075 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.10 percent at 4,647.5.
** MACY'S INC, $40.79, -13.25 pct
** NORDSTROM INC, $62.11, -4.05 pct
** DILLARD'S INC, $83.26, -6.60 pct
** JC PENNEY CO INC, $8.45, -2.65 pct
** KOHL'S CORP, $42.84, -6.05 pct
U.S. retailers' shares fell after Macy's reported disappointing Q3 results, blaming a fall in consumer discretionary spending and strong dollar's impact on tourism. JC Penney shares reversed course despite reporting better-than-expected Q3 same-store sales.
Shares of Macy's suppliers Michael Kors Holdings Ltd , Ralph Lauren Corp, Kate Spade & Co, Coach Inc all slipped in morning trading on Macy's comments that poor sales resulted in high inventory levels.
** HORIZON PHARMA PLC, $17.85, -20.24 pct
** DEPOMED INC, $19.5274, -7.93 pct
Express Scripts Holding Co has removed pharmacy Linden Care from its network after finding it primarily dispensed drugs from Horizon, under fire for high prices. Horizon said less than 5 percent of its net sales are from prescriptions filled by Linden Care and processed by Express Scripts. The largest U.S. manager of prescription drug plans also sued Horizon seeking to recover around $140 million from the company's U.S. unit, citing its failure to comply with contracted rebate obligations.
Meanwhile, shares of Depomed also moved on the news, as the company continues to push against Horizon's repeated takeover attempts.
** AMIRA NATURE FOODS LTD, $7.87, +53.11 pct
The specialty rice packager said an independent investigation concluded that allegations regarding company's finances are unsubstantiated and/or unfounded. Short-seller Prescience Point had accused Amira of fabricating SEC filings, alleging it was "vastly overstating" revenue and forging inventory data.
** BOOT BARN HOLDINGS INC, $12.79, -13.70 pct
The footwear, apparel and accessories retailer reported on Tuesday lower-than-expected Q2 sales, hurt by softness in its Sheplers business, which makes cowboy attire for both men and women.
** ALARM.COM HOLDINGS INC, $16.8724, +15.80 pct
The company, which allows users to remotely control their security systems through a cloud-based platform, reported better-than-expected Q3 revenue and profit, helped by higher sales from SaaS and license revenue business
** EVERYDAY HEALTH INC, $6.95, -30.85 pct
The health and wellness information provider forecast Q4 total revenue below the average analyst estimate, and posted smaller-than-expected Q3 adjusted profit, hurt by higher costs.
** KROGER CO, $37.19, -0.21 pct
** ROUNDY'S INC, $3.58, +64.22 pct
Supermarket operator Kroger said it would buy smaller chain Roundy's for $800 million including debt to expand in Wisconsin and the Chicago area.
** MIDDLEBY CORP, $109.02, -9.40 pct
The kitchen equipment company reported a Q3 profit that missed the average analyst estimate, as its general and administrative expenses jumped 30 percent and it incurred acquisition-related charges.
** OTONOMY INC, $28.47, +16.39 pct
The drug developer said its lead experimental drug was on track to get U.S. marketing approval by the end of the year and it posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $80.85, -3.38 pct
The embattled Canadian drugmaker said on Tuesday its dermatology business would be hurt in the short term as it moves rapidly to sever ties with specialty pharmacy Philidor.
** VWR CORP, $25.36, -6.80 pct
The laboratory equipment supplier said Varietal Distribution Holdings sold 9 million shares through VWR Holdings, an entity controlled by PE firm Madison Dearborn Capital Partners.
** OPOWER INC, $10.11, +2.95 pct
The cloud-based software maker reports better-than-expected revenue and smaller-than-expected loss for the third quarter, helped by subscription renewal by the company's largest client.
** AMTRUST FINANCIAL SERVICES, $62.19, -6.58 pct The insurance holding company said it would offer 5 million of its common shares.
** ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP, $60.87, -4.02 pct
** APACHE CORP, $49.9, -6.40 pct
Anadarko confirmed on Wednesday that it had made an offer to buy fellow oil producer Apache in an all-stock deal, but had been rejected without discussions.
** ATMEL, $7.85, +4.39 pct
Anglo-German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor said it was sticking with its plan to buy U.S. peer Atmel, rebuffing activist hedge fund Elliott, which is seeking to rally co-shareholders to vote against the acquisition.
** ELBIT SYSTEMS, $83.33, +3.70 pct
The Israeli defense electronics firm reported a higher quarterly profit, boosted by higher sales, a growing order backlog and favorable exchange rates.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, $18.07, -3.88 pct
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said some devices for preventing blood clots caused by small sac in heart not "medically reasonable or necessary," raising concerns about reimbursement for the company's Watchman device. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)