Sept 2- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Tuesday a federal contract worth up to $42.3 million would help accelerate testing of an experimental Ebola virus treatment that is being developed by privately held Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc..» Read More
*Gilead Sciences rises in premarket after results. *Key earnings on tap; Apple, Facebook out after the close. *Gilead Sciences Inc rose 3.8 percent to $75.60 in heavy premarket trading a day after the drugmaker reported a sharp increase in its quarterly profit, helped by sales of its hepatitis C drug.
*Soybeans down on U.S. imports, wheat dips. HAMBURG/ SYDNEY, April 23- U.S. corn edged lower on Wednesday on expectations U.S. plantings could speed up following a sharp rise in corn futures a day earlier as the sowing pace fell below market expectations.
WASHINGTON, April 23- Northrop Grumman Corp on Wednesday reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit despite a drop in sales, and the U.S. weapons maker raised its earnings forecast.
April 23- Spectrum Pharmaceuticals said its experimental cancer drug was shown to be safe and effective in a mid-stage trial. Spectrum's drug, Captisol-enabled melphalan, is an intravenous formulation of a common chemotherapy drug melphalan, and is being tested in multiple myeloma patients undergoing stem cell transplants.
April 23- Ingersoll-Rand Plc, maker of Trane airconditioners, reported a 10 percent decline in quarterly profit as its tax bill jumped. The company's net profit fell to $79 million, or 28 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from $88 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.
April 23- Biogen Idec Inc on Wednesday reported a higher first-quarter profit as sales of its new Tecfidera multiple sclerosis drug extended its run of eclipsing Wall Street sales forecasts.
April 23- Johnson Controls Inc reported a 59 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by higher sales in its automotive unit. The net income attributable to Johnson Controls rose to $261 million, or 39 cents per share, for the second quarter ended March 31, from $164 million, or 24 cents per share, a year earlier.
April 23- Dow Chemical Co reported a 75 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by higher prices for its plastics products and higher margins in most of its businesses. Net income rose to $964 million, or 79 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $550 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.
*Ericsson falls after earnings miss. *Primark gives Associated British Foods a lift. LONDON, April 23- European shares fell on Wednesday, retracing some of the previous session's strong gains as investors responded to weak earnings from Ericsson and mixed data out of the euro zone.
April 23- EMC Corp posted a better-than-expected 2 percent rise in quarterly revenue due to higher sales of its storage products as customers expand their data centers. EMC's net income fell to $392 million, or 19 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from $580.05 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.
HONG KONG, April 23- China's state stockpiler has bought at least 200,000 tonnes of imported copper stored in bonded warehouses after global copper prices dived to multi-year lows in March, said four sources with knowledge of the matter.
LONDON, April 23- European shares edged down on Wednesday after three days of gains as signs of a still stuttering Chinese economy and rising worries about Ukraine offset a reassuring set of European economic numbers.
*Gold edges off Tuesday's 2-1/ 2 mth low of $1,277.10/ oz. LONDON, April 23- Gold steadied on Wednesday above a 2-1/ 2 month low hit the previous session, as a softer tone to equities and the dollar helped arrest its slide above a key chart level, but demand from investors and retail buyers remained slack.
LONDON/ BEIJING, April 23- Chinese factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April but private businesses across the euro zone enjoyed their best month in nearly three years, surveys showed on Wednesday. Within the euro zone, Germany- Europe's largest economy- saw activity accelerate whereas in France, the bloc's second biggest, momentum waned.
*Washington will stand by us: Ukraine deputy prime minister. *Talks proposed on Ukraine- Russia gas row. After a lull for the Easter religious holiday, officials in Kiev decided to renew what they call an "anti-terrorist operation" against separatist militias who have seized control of about a dozen public buildings in eastern Ukraine.
LONDON, April 23- ARM Holdings, whose chip technology powers Apple's iPhone, said demand for smartphones would pick up in the second half after a disappointing end to 2013 resulted in first-quarter profit rising less than in previous years.
KIEV, April 23- Russia, the European Commission and Slovakia may hold talks with Ukraine on Thursday on a possible solution to the country's gas crisis, Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said. Prodan told reporters on Wednesday that Moscow and the European Union had suggested the ministerial meeting, which would be held in the Slovak capital of Bratislava.
LONDON, April 23- Nickel rose to its highest level in more than 14 months on Wednesday as tighter supplies continued to fuel the metal's rally, while copper slipped after data showed a contraction in factory activity in top consumer China.
TOKYO, April 23- Sumitomo Life Insurance, Japan's fourth-largest life insurer, plans to shift some funds out of long-term domestic bonds to foreign bonds in the year to March, as bond yields in Japan are too low, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
TOKYO, April 23- Seibu Holdings Inc rose almost 11 percent on its first day of relisting on the Tokyo stock market, after its IPO price was slashed due to growing doubts over the strength of Japan's economic recovery.