March 27 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Wednesday:
Wall Street opened lower on Wednesday after a robust rally in the prior session, as limp demand at an Italian debt auction sparked concerns over the financial health of the euro zone.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 64.90 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,494.75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 7.39 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,556.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 18.37 points, or 0.56 percent, at 3,234.15.
** JP MORGAN CHASE & CO, $47.68, down 2 percent (1111 ET)
U.S. prosecutors are examining whether the bank fully alerted authorities to suspicions about fraudster Bernard Madoff, the New York Times reported, citing several people with direct knowledge of the matter.
** APPLE INC, $453.89, down 1.5 pct (1059 ET)
At least two brokerages lowered their estimates for iPhone shipments for the second and third quarters, citing a demand pause and reduction in iPhone inventory.
“As we now believe that much of the new iPhone products (iPhone 5S, low-end iPhone) will be shipping in the second-half of 2013, we are lowering our March quarter iPhone unit estimates from 37.0 million units to 35.3 million units and our June quarter estimates from 43 million units to 30 million units,” FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi wrote in a note.
Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves also cut his estimates on iPhone and iPad shipments. He cut his estimates mainly for large-format iPad shipments for the current quarter to 16.5 million from 17 million, saying tablet demand would likely shift to smaller and less expensive models.
“We continue to anticipate very slow revenue and earnings growth from Apple going forward,” Hargreaves said.
** FORD MOTOR CO, $13.21, down 1 pct (0932 ET)
The car maker said on Tuesday that it will recall about 3,500 Taurus, Explorer and Lincoln MKS vehicles around the world to repair fuel tanks equipped with an improperly molded seam.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES, $18.28, down 14 pct (0933 ET)
Morgan Stanley downgraded the iron ore and metallurgical coal producer’s stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight”, citing an oversupply of iron ore in the Great Lakes region in North America in the coming years which will lead to a cut in the company’s production and price.
A big increase in the supply of iron ore pellets in the Great Lakes region over the next three years could hit earnings from Cliffs’ U.S. iron ore segment hard, Morgan Stanley analyst Evan Kurtz said in a note to clients.
Credit Suisse analyst Nathan Littlewood, who also sees a looming pellet surplus in the Great Lakes, said Cliffs may need to consider “drastic solutions” to shore up its balance sheet in the next 12 months, from selling iron ore assets in the Asia-Pacific region to a multibillion-dollar equity offering.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, $49.80, down 4 pct (1017 ET)
Credit Agricole Securities initiated coverage on the web hosting company’s stock with an “underperform” rating, streetinsider.com reported.
** TROVAGENE INC, $6.04, up 5 pct (1030 ET)
The diagnostic test maker on Wednesday launched a non-invasive device to test sexually transmitted infection.
The HPV-HR DNA urine-based test checks for the virus molecular human papillomavirus, which affects about 6 million Americans every year, the company said quoting data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
** DIANA SHIPPING INC, $10.09, up 6 pct (1050 ET)
** EXCEL MARITIME CARRIERS LTD, $0.93, up 12 pct (1050 ET)
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money, said on his show late on Tuesday that share prices of dry bulk shippers have bottomed, citing Diana Shipping in particular. Cramer said Diana now has the ability to buy ships when they are cheapest. The shipping industry has been hit by an oversupply of vessels due to a spending spree by owners before the economic downturn, which sent rates tumbling.
** MATTRESS FIRM HOLDING CORP, $33.08, up 6 pct (0934 ET)
The specialty bedding retailer forecast full-year sales above Wall Street estimates.
Brokerage Raymond James upgraded its rating on the stock to “outperform” from “marketperform,” and atleast two other brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** AOL INC, $39.14, up 8 pct (1054 ET)
Barclays upgraded the Internet company’s stock to “overweight” from “equal-weight” and raised its target price on the stock to $44 from $38, saying it expects better results compared to Wall Street estimates as the company “returns to modest revenue growth and continues to streamline its cost structure.”
** DEUTSCHE BANK, $38.80, down 3.6 percent (1007 ET)
Credit rating agency Standard & Poors may downgrade Germany’s biggest lender after the bank revised its 2012 profit lower because of charges related to mortgage-related lawsuits and other regulatory investigations.
** AASTROM BIOSCIENCES INC, $0.80, down 30 pct (0934 ET)
The drugmaker said it would end the late-stage trial of its drug to treat critical limb ischemia - a form of peripheral arterial disease - and cut about half of its workforce.
** FRANCESCA‘S HOLDINGS CORP, $28.33, down 6 pct (0935 ET)
Stockholders of the women’s clothing retailer, including certain members of management and certain affiliates of CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, announced a secondary offering of about 7.4 million shares, the company said.
** TUMI HOLDINGS INC, $22.45, down 3 pct (0940 ET)
Stockholders of the luxury handbag maker on Tuesday announced a secondary offering of 10.1 million shares, the company said.
** LINDSAY CORP, $87.82, down 5 pct (1009 ET)
The agricultural equipment maker reported second-quarter results above analysts’ expectations, but said that it expects low commodity prices to hurt demand for the rest of the year and into 2014.
** APOLLO GROUP, $17.45, down 2 pct (0936 ET)
Brokerage Wells Fargo downgraded the for-profit education company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” saying Apollo’s new advertising strategy does not seem to have a material effect on demand.
Apollo’s new measures to focus on non-degree programs and international expansion do not offer enough near-term scale to offset the pressures on its core business, Wells Fargo said.
** UTSTARCOM INC, $2.83, up 20 pct (0939 ET)
The telecom equipment maker’s shareholders, Shah Capital Management and Lu Family Trust, offered to buy the company for $3.20 per share in cash.
The offer values the company, which has a market value of about $92 million, at about $124.9 million.
** LOGMEIN INC, $19.22, down 9 pct (0940 ET)
The remote-access software maker said on Tuesday it won a patent infringement lawsuit against 01 Communique Laboratory Inc but analysts said the company’s poor execution is still an issue.
“We are cautious on shares of LOGM because the company’s rapid growth has slowed recently, and we anticipate growth to be tepid through 2013,” JP Morgan analyst John DiFucci wrote in a note.
** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP, $5.17, down 8 pct (0941 ET)
The ethanol producer said it was exploring a sale of one or both of its plants. The company had defaulted on loans due in September last year. Lenders have indicated that they are willing to provide Biofuel Energy with a grace period until July 30 to pursue strategic options, the company said.
The worst drought in five decades last summer pushed up corn prices, weakening margins of U.S. ethanol producers, who use corn as the primary feedstock in production.
** LANDEC CORP, $12.52, down 6 pct (0941 ET)
The company, which makes prepackaged vegetables and medical products, expects profit and revenue in the fourth quarter to be lower than the preceding quarter on reduced supply of green beans during March.
For the third quarter ended Feb. 24, Landec reported a flat profit due to produce-sourcing issues in California.
** SAIC INC, $13.52, up 5 pct (0943 ET)
The U.S. government IT contractor reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday on higher revenue from its defense solutions business.
** ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP, $40.13, down 3 pct (0944 ET)
The natural gas services provider on Tuesday said it would offer 9 million common units in an underwritten public offering and will use the proceeds to repay debt.
** BOEING CO, $85.49, down 1 pct (0945 ET)
As the planemaker works to regain permission for its 787 Dreamliner to resume flights, the company faces what could be a costly new challenge: a temporary ban on some of the long-distance, trans-ocean journeys that the jet was intended to fly. (Compiled by Jochelle Mendonca)