(For more market insights, including options activity, click on STXNEWS/US; for The Day Ahead newsletter http://link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter http://link.reuters.com/han28t)
May 16 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
DOW, S&P FUTURES TURN LOWER AFTER U.S. DATA
Dow and S&P 500 index futures turned lower after U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the latest week and housing starts fell sharply. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 1.9 points and the Dow Jones (DJI: ^DJI - news) down 16 points, while futures for the Nasdaq were up 9 points.
** CIENA CORP, Wednesday close $15.06, up 3.5 pct premarket
Network equipment maker Cisco posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday and said current-quarter revenue could increase, giving some relief to investors who had worried it was being hurt by weak technology spending.
One-time hedge fund darling Apple was dropped by more well-known fund managers in the first quarter, including John Griffin and Chase Coleman.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Wednesday close $79.86, down 2.3 pct premarket
Wal-Mart's quarterly profit just missed Wall Street expectations, with sales down 1.4 percent at its Walmart U.S. stores open at least a year.
** KOHL'S CORP, Wednesday close $49.68, up 7 pct premarket
The department store chain reported a quarterly profit well ahead of analysts' expectations after cost cuts boosted margins.
The electric carmaker, which posted its first-ever quarterly profit last week, said on Wednesday that it aims to raise $830 million through a stock and debt offering that will be used to repay its U.S. Department of Energy loans with interest.
** CHICAGO BRIDGE & IRON CO, Wednesday close $57.76, up 3.8 pct premarket
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway on Wednesday revealed a new investment in Chicago Bridge and said it has added to its largest equity holding, Wells Fargo.
** SUNPOWER CORP, Wednesday close $20.65, up 6 pct premarket
The company, which makes solar panels and builds power plants with them, on Wednesday said revenue and profits for the rest of the year would be above most analysts' estimates.
The news was the latest bright spot in the solar manufacturing industry, which has struggled mightily with a dramatic slide in prices over the last few years.
Several brokerages including RBC Capital Markets, Robert W. Baird & Co and Northland Capital Markets raised their price target on the company's stock.
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, Wednesday close $47.67, down 3 pct premarket
Brokerage William Blair & Co cut its rating on the 3D printer makers to "underperform" from "marketperform".
"... Media hype has led investors to overlook some key fundamentals of these companies, and ultimately, has given rise to unreasonable growth expectations and inflated valuations," analyst Brian Drab wrote in a client note.
General Electric Co and Boeing have alerted airlines about a potential problem with engines on Boeing's long-range 777 jumbo jet that caused the engines to shut in mid-flight twice this year.
** MONSANTO CO, Wednesday close $109.22
The world's largest seed company is developing two new platforms that diverge from its core business and are seen as potential key long-term growth drivers, according to top Monsanto executives.
Before Optimer Pharmaceuticals even put itself up for sale earlier this year, Cubist Pharmaceuticals offered to buy the antibiotic maker for $20 per share, or nearly $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.
The company said it would sell shares in a public offering. The size and other terms of the offering were not disclosed.
The business and technology consultancy company on Wednesday reported first-quarter results above analysts' average estimates on higher demand for its services.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, Wednesday close $5.72
The Chinese solar equipment maker said it repaid $119 million, comprising the principal amount and interest, of its 4.5 percent convertible notes due May 15.
** LDK SOLAR CO LTD, Wednesday close $1.41
The Chinese solar panel maker signed a 500-megawatt wafer supply contract with Realforce Power Co Ltd. LDK said shipments to the China-based company will start this month.
An experimental leukemia treatment that Roche Holding AG (Other OTC: RHHBY - news) hopes will improve upon its best-selling cancer drug Rituxan delayed disease progression twice as long as chemotherapy, according to preliminary trial data released on Wednesday. Roche shares Rituxan revenue with Biogen Idec.
** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB, Wednesday close $44.34
Melanoma patients treated with two Bristol-Myers Squibb drugs fared much better than those who received either of the medications individually, a new advance for treatments that harness the body's immune system to fight cancer.
AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN - news) has enrolled the first patient into a final-stage clinical trial of a new drug for a rare type of leukaemia as the group's new CEO delivers on a promise to accelerate its oncology programs.
An experimental drug from Gilead Sciences shrank tumors in half of leukemia patients whose cancer had returned, according to an early-stage trial that represents a new foray into oncology by the world's biggest seller of HIV medications.
The world's largest dialysis provider, confirmed that it looks set to reach only the lower half of its previous outlook range for 2013 net income.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Johnson & Johnson's drug Simponi for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory disease affecting the colon.
** VODAFONE Group Plc, Wednesday close $29.90, up 1.4 pct premarket
Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L - news) will be able to offer pay-TV over high-speed broadband to its German customers under a new deal with Deutsche Telekom (Xetra: 555750 - news) , broadening its appeal in the British firm's most important European market.
Dish has lined up four banks to finance its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel, escalating the bidding war against Japanese telecom company SoftBank Corp (Xetra: 891624 - news) , according to two people familiar with the matter.
** OVERSTOCK INC, Wednesday close $25.29
The online shopping sites Newegg and Overstock won a patent battle on Wednesday with telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, which had accused the companies of infringing its patented technology.
The company's Norwegian partner Topotarget A/S said final data from a pivotal study of the companies' drug belinostat showed it met the main goal of reducing the size of tumors in patients with peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.
Topotarget said the drug was well-tolerated by the trial patients. The data was part of an abstract released by the American Society for Clinical Oncology, ahead of its meeting on May 31.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Wednesday close $35.34
A federal judge in Kansas City, Kansas, ordered Dow Chemical on Wednesday to pay $1.2 billion in a price-fixing case involving chemicals used to make foam products in cars, furniture and packaging, according to court documents.
Maverick Capital Ltd on Wednesday raised its stake in the network gear maker by 137.4 percent to $2 million.
The biopharmaceutical company said detailed data from its final-stage trial showed its experimental lung cancer vaccine L-BLP25, formerly called Stimuvax, improved survival in a subgroup of patients treated with the drug, while receiving a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The company also said two mid-stage trials of its experimental compound PX-866 being tested in patients with cancers of the prostate and brain, showed the drug was well-tolerated.
The drybulk shipper reported a profit of 8 cents per share for the first quarter, reversing a year-ago loss, helped by a $32.8 million settlement agreement with Korea Line Corp , which helped offset lower time charter rates and voyage revenues. (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)