Wall Street was set for a higher open on Wednesday amidcautious optimism that U.S. politicians would strike alast-minute deal to prevent the country from defaulting on itsdebt, an event that could roil markets and economies worldwide.
S&P 500 futures rose 9 points and were above fairvalue, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into accountinterest rates, dividends and time to expiration on thecontract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 67points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 12.75 points.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, Tuesday close $14.24, up0.4 pct premarket
The bank reported a third-quarter profit of $2.22 billioncompared with a loss a year earlier, as provisions for creditlosses and expenses fell.
The power tool maker cut its 2013 profit forecast due to theU.S. government spending cuts and shutdown andslower-than-expected margin expansion in its security business.
Toy maker Mattel topped Wall Street's profit estimates forthe third quarter, benefiting from strong demand for itschubby-faced American Girl dolls and its Monster High linedepicting the teen descendants of famous monsters.
Rival Hasbro is scheduled to report its quarterly resultsnext week.
** ST. JUDE MEDICAL, Tuesday close $55.38, up 0.7pct premarket
The company posted a 49 percent jump in third-quarter profitas increased sales of devices to treat abnormal heart rhythmsoffset a decline in sales of pacemakers.
** MGIC INVESTMENT CORP, Tuesday close $7.26, up 8pct premarket
The mortgage insurer posted its second straight quarterlyprofit, after six years of losses, as a recovery in the U.S.housing market lowered the number of defaulters.
** BNY MELLON CORP, Tuesday close, $30.85, up 1 pctpremarket
The bank reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profitdue to rising fees from managing money, increased mutual fundbalances and strength in foreign currency trading.
The world's largest money manager said its third-quarterprofit rose 15 percent due to market growth and strong globaldemand from its retail and institutional clients.
The company reported higher quarterly earnings and said itwas on track to meet its financial goals for the year, despite asluggish economy. The maker of Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay snacks andTropicana juice said net income was $1.91 billion, or $1.23 pershare, in the third quarter, up less than 1 percent from $1.90billion, or $1.21 per share, a year earlier.
The drugmaker reported better-than-expected quarterlyearnings despite disrupted sales of its infant formulas inChina, mainly due to cost cuts and lower taxes.
The bank has reached an agreement with the Commodity FuturesTrading Commission to pay $100 million to settle charges relatedto the bank's "London Whale" trading scandal, according to mediareports.
Investors cheered the internet company's plans to keep alarger-than-expected stake in Chinese e-commerce giant AlibabaGroup Holding Ltd, overlooking continuing softness in its coreonline advertising business. Yahoo said it would sell fewershares than originally agreed from its 24 percent stake whenAlibaba goes public.
At least seven brokerages raised their price targets onYahoo's stock.
The company said it would buy General Parts InternationalInc for just over $2 billion, creating the largest NorthAmerican retailer of auto parts, as strong new car sales hitdemand for repair and replacement.
The surgical implant company cut its revenue forecast forthe third quarter, citing several factors includinguncertainties related to a warning letter from the U.S. healthregulator received in October last year.
The letter pertained to environmental monitoring activitiesin certain areas of RTI's processing facility in Alachua,Florida. The company now expects to report revenue of about $54.7 million, lower than the $59 million to $61 millionforecast earlier.
The conglomerate expects to value its Swiss consumer financeunit GE Money Bank at a total market capitalization of up to1.53 billion Swiss francs ($1.67 billion) when it lists it inthe fourth quarter. The price for each share will be between 43and 51 Swiss francs at the initial public offering, Money Banksaid on Thursday.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Tuesday close $34.70, up 0.5pct premarket
Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) raised its price targets on the stocks of the carmakers, saying it prefers Ford and GM (NYSE: GM - news) over auto parts suppliers."Ford offers potential for continued international improvements,while GM is underappreciated and may see less selling pressureas the U.S. Treasury winds down its stake," analysts wrote in anote.
** ALL AMERICAN PIPELINE LP, Tuesday close $50.45
The company's general partner Plains GP Holdings LP pricedits initial public offering at $22 per share to raise $2.82billion, making it the largest U.S. IPO this year.
** HALLIBURTON CO, Tuesday close $51.16
A manager of the company formally pleaded guilty in U.S.federal court on Tuesday to destroying evidence in connectionwith the oilfield services company's role in the BP (LSE: BP.L - news) oilspill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The company has hired Burberry Chief Executive AngelaAhrendts to direct strategy, expansion and operation of itsretail and online stores, setting her the task of bolsteringiPad and iPhone sales.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Tuesday close $74.37
The retailer expects slightly stronger sales growth nextyear as it makes changes such as opening more smaller U.S.stores and shutting 50 poorly performing stores in Brazil andChina, executives said on Tuesday.
A new type of cholesterol drug being developed by RegeneronPharmaceuticals and Sanofi SA, when used by itself,cut levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol almost in half in the firstof a dozen late-stage trials of the injectable medicine. Theexperimental drug, called alirocumab, is from a promising newclass of injectable cholesterol fighters also being developed byAmgen Inc and other drugmakers.
Roth Capital analysts raised their price target onRegeneron's stock to $345 from $319. The company's focus hasbeen the growth of its big-selling eye drug, Eylea, but isquickly moving to the broad pipeline, led by potentialblockbuster candidate alirocumab, the analysts wrote in a note.
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES, Tuesday close$39.52
The Israel-based company and the Israeligovernment will set up a joint team to examine ways to implementcost cutting measures that preserve most of the company'sworkforce in that country.
** INTEL CORP, Tuesday close $23.39, down 1 pctpremarket
The chipmaker's third-quarter results modestly beatexpectations on Tuesday, but its current-quarter revenue outlookfell short and it warned that production of its upcomingBroadwell processors was delayed.
The company posted a higher quarterly profit as its non-coalbusiness did well and the railroad increasedprices.
The staff at the California Energy Commission found someenvironmental issues with the U.S. power company's proposed485-megawatt Blythe solar power plant near California, thecommission said in a release on Tuesday.
** ORACLE CORP, Tuesday close $32.75
Top (Taiwan OTC: 8419.TWO - news) proxy advisers recommended votes against key directorsof the software maker, citing concerns over executive pay. Therecommendations promise to stir up a debate over compensation atthe company's annual meeting scheduled for the end of thismonth.
The California-based specialty apparel retailer forecast awider loss for the current quarter as slower mall traffic forcedit to discount more than planned.
"Following our strong start to the quarter, mall trafficsoftened considerably during September and has continued intoOctober, resulting in an increasingly promotional competitiveenvironment in recent weeks," Chief Executive John Goodman said.
** LINEAR TECHNOLOGY CORP, Tuesday close $39.55,down 2.5 pct premarket
The semiconductor company posted first-quarter profit belowWall Street estimates and said it expected second-quarterrevenue to be flat to down 4 percent from the first quarter asthe U.S. government shutdown might affect its business.
On Wednesday, brokerages B.Riley & Co and Piper Jaffray cuttheir price targets on the company's stock following theresults.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Tuesday close $7.17, up 2 pctpremarket
A spokeswoman of the company denied a market rumor onTuesday that the department store chain had hired bankruptcycounsel. Penney spokeswoman Kristin Kays said there was "notruth to the rumor," origins of which were unclear.
The solar company said it had entered into an agreement toconstruct a 250-megawatt solar power plant in California for aunit of NextEra Energy Resources LLC. The construction of theproject will begin in late 2014.
Leerink Swann slashed its price target on the drugmaker'sstock to $17 from $20, citing softer-than-expected prescriptionsof the obesity drug Qsymia reported by Vivus on Tuesday. JPMorgan (Other OTC: MGHL - news) also cut its price target on the stock to $18 from $22.Both Leerink and JP Morgan (Other OTC: JPYYL - news) maintained their "outperform" ratingson the stock.
In a cost-saving move, the solar components maker eliminatedpositions of chief operating officer, vice president of humanresources, chief technology officer and vice president offinance. Chief Operating Officer Barry Morris will stay on untilNov. 15, the company said. (http://r.reuters.com/fyj83v)
** EMCORE CORP, Tuesday close $4.80, up 10 pctpremarket
Activist investment firm Becker Drapkin Management L.P. saidon Tuesday that it took a stake in the company, terming itsshares "undervalued". Becker Drapkin said it intended tonominate three directors to the company's board at its annualshareholder meeting.
Becker Drapkin took a 7.1 percent stake in the maker ofchip-based parts for broadband, fiber optic and satellitemarkets on Oct (KOSDAQ: 039200.KQ - news) . 2 and said it intends to discuss "ways in whichthe undervaluation of the common stock can be rectified" withthe company. The stake makes Becker Drapkin the second-largestshareholder in Emcore.
The regional bank's quarterly results beat analysts'estimates as it set aside less money to cover credit losses. PNCearned $1.79 per share for the third quarter. Analysts onaverage were expecting $1.62, according to Thomson ReutersI/B/E/S.
The bank's quarterly results beat estimates, helped by lowerprovision for loan losses.
** O'REILLY AUTOMOTIVE INC, Tuesday close $129.08,up 2 pct premarket
Wedbush started coverage on the auto parts retailer's stockwith an "outperform" rating, according to Theflyonthewall.com. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by KirtiPandey)
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