Big Broadcasters Fight a Startup and UnitedHealth Pays: Morning Buzzers

Stock futures edged up on Wednesday morning, adding to yesterday’s gains. The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its last meeting this morning, which showed that some policymakers favored curbing quantitative easing around mid-year.

Heading into the open: DJIA: +0.25%, S&P 500: +0.26%, NASDAQ: +0.36%

Here’s what’s buzzing on Wednesday morning:

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) climbed as much as 1.4 percent in pre-market trading. The world’s largest social network is expected to unveil a new tool today that will allow advertisers to target people using data pulled from outside of Facebook itself, such as email subscriptions and spending habits.

NEW! Discover a new stock idea each week for less than the cost of 1 trade. CLICK HERE for your Weekly Stock Cheat Sheets NOW!

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) will have to pay a total of $500 million in damages after a jury in Arizona found the company negligent in its oversight of a doctor who gave patients hepatitis C. The doctor reportedly reused anesthetic vials and failed to sterilize equipment.

Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE) edged down about half a percent in pre-market trading on Wednesday. People familiar with the matter tell Reuters that Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) has submitted an offer to acquire Life Technologies at $65 per share, slightly below Tuesday’s closing price of $66.19 and on the low-end of expectations for a bid. A competing offer from a consortium of private-equity firms is also expected.

CBS (NYSE:CBS) is reportedly joining a movement consisting of News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS)(NASDAQ:NWSA) and other television broadcasters that could have the companies moving local signals out of the air and into cable. The movement is a response to an upstart service called Aereo, which collects local television signals out of the ether and streams them to the phones and computers of subscribers. Ostensibly, this robs companies like CBS and News Corp. of retransmission fees.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has denied Ford’s (NYSE:F) claim that the Focus was the top-selling brand in 2012, and instead suggests that the Corolla was the most-popular nameplate last year. This is mostly public relations posturing, but if Toyota can disprove Ford’s claim, it will leave some egg on the face of the American car maker.

Investing Insights: Are All-Time Highs Supported In CBS?