(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, ahead of a flurry of economic data, including a report on the labor market. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.05 percent at 15,883, S&P 500 futures were down 0.22 percent at 1,787.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.19 percent at 3,469.
** CITIGROUP INC, Tuesday close $52.13, -1.07 pct premarket
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $56.86, -0.65 pct premarket
EU antitrust regulators fined six financial institutions including Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup a record total of 1.71 billion euros ($2.32 billion) on Wednesday for rigging financial benchmarks. The other banks penalized are Societe Generale, JPMorgan and brokerage RP Martin.
Goldman Sachs also cut its rating on Citigroup to “neutral” from “conviction list-buy.”
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Tuesday close $10.11, +2.37 pct premarket
The struggling department store operator said November comparable-store sales rose 10 percent, as its efforts to turn its fortunes around were starting to pay off.
** FORD MOTOR CO, Tuesday close $16.56, +0.24 pct premarket
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Tuesday close $38.14, +0.05 pct premarket
Major automakers reported their best U.S. sales month in six and a half years in November as aggressive discounting and the continued popularity of big pickup trucks helped trounce Wall Street forecasts. But some investors were worried that the discounts signaled a return to the unhealthy practices that eroded industry profits in the years before the global recession of 2009.
** EXPRESS INC, Tuesday close $24.67, -17.51 pct premarket
The apparel retailer joined other U.S. retailers in forecasting a weaker-than-expected holiday quarter due to muted Thanksgiving sales and a highly promotional environment.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, Tuesday close $27.5, +1.45 pct premarket
The PC maker is set to cut 1,124 jobs in Britain at the start of next year, the Unite union said. Unite said it had attended a meeting where managers were outlining their plans to cut jobs at the group’s sites in Bracknell, Sheffield and Warrington in the first three months of 2014.
** AT&T INC, Tuesday close $34.74, -1.04 pct premarket
J.P. Morgan cut its rating on the U.S. telecom carrier’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight”.
** U.S. BANCORP, Tuesday close $38.52, +1.12 pct premarket
Goldman Sachs raised the stock of the fifth-largest U.S. commercial bank by assets to “conviction list-buy” from “neutral,” saying higher capital expenditure, slowing savings rate and improving government spending in 2014 are likely to boost the lender’s revenue growth.
** UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC, Tuesday close $73.45
The health insurer said on Tuesday that it expected U.S. healthcare reform to have a net drag on earnings of 90 cents to $1 per share in 2014 due to changes in the individual and Medicare businesses as well as new taxes and fees.
** SCHLUMBERGER NV, Tuesday close $87.64
The oilfield services company said on Tuesday that it expected the temporary shutdown of its operations in southern Iraq last month in a “security incident” to reduce fourth-quarter profits by about 2 percent.
** GUIDEWIRE SOFTWARE INC, Tuesday close $44.98, +5.80 pct after market
The company, which provides software to the property and casualty insurance industry, reported a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss and higher-than-expected revenue for the first quarter ended Oct. 31.
** OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES INC, Tuesday close $15.99, -13.07 pct premarket
The chipmaker forecast current-quarter revenue way below analysts’ estimates. The company, which pioneered imaging sensors that use both sides of a chip to deliver better quality in a smaller-sized camera, forecast third-quarter revenue of $310 million-$340 million. Analysts on average were expecting $399.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** NETAPP INC, Tuesday close $40.74
Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the data storage equipment maker’s stock to “equal weight” from “overweight” on Tuesday.
** ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP, Tuesday close $54.01, -4.46 pct premarket
The natural gas services provider priced its offering of 6 million common units at $51.45 per unit on Wednesday, below its stock’s closing price of $54.01 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
** OASIS PETROLEUM INC, Tuesday close $46.76, -3.38 pct premarket
The oil and gas producer said it planned to sell 7 million shares and would use the proceeds of the offering to repay debt.
Analysts at SunTrust Robinson cut their price target on the stock to $62 from $66, citing the offering.
** CHEMOCENTRYX INC, Tuesday close $5.02, +3.59 pct premarket
The company said its experimental drug to treat a potentially fatal autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels showed improvement over standard treatment in the first two steps of a 12-week treatment. The drug, CCX168, is currently being tested in a mid-stage study to treat ANCA-associated renal vasculitis.
** HANWHA SOLARONE CO LTD, Tuesday close $3.30
The solar products maker said it signed a deal with Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology Co Ltd for development of photovoltaic (PV) projects. Hanwha SolarOne will manufacture PV modules for Jiangsu Zhongtian’s 150 megawatt energy project in China.
** CELLDEX THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $27.14, -5.71 pct premarket
The company said it would offer 6.5 million shares of its common stock to fund clinical development and to meet working capital needs. The company did not disclose the price at which it would offer the shares.
** W&T OFFSHORE INC, Tuesday close $16.70
The oil and natural gas producer’s ban from bidding on federal government contracts in the Gulf of Mexico could last up to three years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, Tuesday close $15.51
The Canadian company will name Ned Goodman, a veteran Canadian money manager, as a director and appoint James Gowans, a former De Beers Canada chief executive, as its new chief operating officer, Dow Jones reported late on Tuesday, quoting a person familiar with the matter.
** GUESS INC, Tuesday close $33.89
The clothing retailer’s third-quarter results will be keenly looked at by investors to see whether it can maintain its sales momentum, particularly going into the holiday season, which is expected to be the toughest since the financial crisis of 2008. ($1 = 0.74 euros) (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)