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 a higher open on Monday, rebounding from a decline in the previous session, amid merger and acquisition activity in the pharmaceuticals sector.

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

* Pfizer made a 58.8 billion pounds ($98.9 billion) bid to AstraZeneca in January and said it had contacted its British rival again on April 26 to further discuss a takeover, which would be one of the biggest ever in the pharmaceuticals industry.

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

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

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

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

* Charter Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: CHTR - news) reported a 15 percent jump in first-quarter revenue due to a rise in the number of residential video subscribers. The stock rose 1.5 percent in premarket 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 at 10:30 a.m.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 3.5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 40 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.5 points.

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

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

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