US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open amid merger activity

Reuters - UK Focus

(Adds Forest Labs, BofA, updates trading)

* Forest Labs to buy Furiex for up to $1.46 bln

* Pfizer (NYSE: PFE - news) works on next move in takeover bid for Astrazeneca (NYSE: AZN - news)

* Obama announces new U.S. sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

* Futures up: Dow 40 pts; S&P 3.5 pts; Nasdaq 4.5 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , April 28 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for ahigher open on Monday, rebounding from a decline in the previoussession, amid merger and acquisition activity in thepharmaceuticals sector.

* U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc is working on its nextmove in a potential $100 billion bid to take over Britain'sAstraZeneca Plc after two earlier bids were rejected.

* Pfizer made a 58.8 billion pounds ($98.9 billion) bid toAstraZeneca in January and said it had contacted its Britishrival again on April 26 to further discuss a takeover, whichwould be one of the biggest ever in the pharmaceuticalsindustry.

* Forest Laboratories Inc (NYSE: FRX - news) said it would buy FuriexPharmaceuticals Inc for up to $1.46 billion, includingmilestone payments to access Furiex's promising treatment forirritable bowel syndrome.

* Furiex Pharmaceuticals (NasdaqGS: FURX - news) shares jumped nearly 31 percent inpremarket trading while Forest Laboratories shares rose 2.3percent.

* Bank of America Corp said it would suspend a $4billion stock buyback program and a planned increase in itsquarterly dividend after it miscalculated the treatment ofcertain structured notes related to its acquisition of MerrillLynch in 2009. The company also said it would resubmit its 2014capital plan to the Federal Reserve.

* Bank of America (TLO: BAC.TI - news) shares were down 4 percent in premarkettrading.

* Charter Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: CHTR - news) reported a 15 percentjump in first-quarter revenue due to a rise in the number ofresidential video subscribers. The stock rose 1.5 percent inpremarket trading.

* U.S. March pending home sales data is due at 10:00 a.m. ET(1400 GMT), followed by the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey at10:30 a.m.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 3.5 points and wereabove fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by takinginto account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration onthe contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose40 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.5 points.

* U.S. President Barack Obama announced new sanctionsagainst some Russians on Monday to stop President Vladimir Putinfrom fomenting a rebellion in eastern Ukraine, but said he washolding broader measures against Russia's economy "in reserve."

* U.S. stocks dropped Friday, weighed by consumerdiscretionary stocks, as bellwether names (NasdaqGS: AMZN - news) and FordMotor fell after releasing their quarterly earnings. Amazon.comshares were down 0.6 percent in premarket trading on Monday.

* Despite Friday's decline, the S&P 500 finished nearly flatfor the week and within 2 percent of its all-time intraday high. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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