U.S. stocks climbed on Friday, but closed lower for the week, as investors weighed Wells Fargo results and readied for a slew earnings ahead.
BRUSSELS/ MOSCOW- The European Union seeks to reassure Russia that a free-trade pact with Ukraine is not aimed at hurting Moscow, but rejects calls to postpone implementation, offering more talks instead.
*Wells Fargo falls, more banks' earnings due next week. Shares of Wells Fargo& Co., down 0.5 percent at $51.54, were in the spotlight as the biggest U.S. mortgage lender was the first major U.S. bank to report earnings. Wells Fargo's results will be followed next week by earnings from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.
*Reynolds, Lorillard marriage seen making $500 mln savings. LONDON, July 11- U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc is in talks to acquire rival Lorillard Inc in a multi-billion dollar deal that would reshape one of the world's biggest and most profitable tobacco markets, the companies said on Friday.
European shares ended the day flat, as traders shrugged off some concerns about the condition of Portugal's banking sector.
*Wells Fargo falls, but revenue tops forecasts. Wells Fargo& Co reported revenue that beat expectations, though for the first time since 2009, the bank did not increase its earnings-per-share from the preceding quarter. Fastenal Co slumped 4.6 percent to $45.92 after revenue missed expectations.
*Lorillard market value is $22.9 bln. LONDON, July 11- U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc is in talks to acquire rival Lorillard Inc in a multi-billion dollar deal that would include the sale of some brands to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, the companies said on Friday.
Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.
*Reynolds, Lorillard not available to comment. LONDON, July 11- U.S cigarette makers Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc are in talks on a possible multi-billion dollar disposal to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, as part of efforts to ease antitrust concerns over their planned merger.
Reynolds American and Lorillard are agreeing a complex merger that will reshape Big Tobacco, bringing together the two biggest US operators.
Stocks rose on Thursday, lifting the Dow industrials above 17,000, after the June jobs report.
Sources told CNBC that a Lorillard and Reynolds American merger is weeks away, although the companies have not fully negotiated terms.
Some of Thursday's midday movers:
July 3- Tobacco majors Lorillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc are likely to merge as early as end of July, CNBC reported, citing sources.
The rapid growth of electronic cigarette sales poses a rising risk to holders of as much as $96 billion of bonds tied to payments tobacco companies.
NEW YORK, June 24- The rapid growth of electronic cigarette sales poses a rising but under-appreciated risk to holders of as much as $96 billion of bonds tied to payments tobacco companies make to U.S. states from a sweeping legal settlement in 1998..
Industry trade groups, as well as cigarette makers, including Philip Morris parent Altria Group Inc, Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc, complained that the limits violated their free speech rights and were pre-empted by other federal and state laws.
Industry trade groups, as well as cigarette makers, including Philip Morris parent Altria Group Inc, Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc, complained that the limits violated their free speech rights and were pre-empted by other federal and state laws. A lawyer for most of the plaintiffs referred a reporter to Altria, which did not have an immediate comment.
A deal between Reynolds American and Lorillard will very likely happen, Wells Fargo's Bonnie Herzog says.
Electronic cigarettes, promoted as a healthier alternative to tobacco, are getting powerful new backers: big tobacco firms. NYT reports.