(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, click on )
May 29 (Reuters) -
U.S. stocks retreated from record levels on Wednesday on concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve may start to ease up on its economy-boosting stimulus program.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 137.08 points, or 0.89 percent, The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 14.20 points, or 0.86 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 24.45 points, or 0.70 percent.
** SMITHFIELD FOODS INC, $32.53, up 25 pct (1215 ET)
China’s Shuanghui International said it would buy the largest U.S. hog producer for $4.7 billion in cash to help satisfy growing demand for U.S.-made pork in its home market, but the deal may raise concerns in the United States.
The stock was the top percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange. About 6.5 million shares changed hands by 1310 ET, more than 10 times their average 10-day volume.
** STEWART ENTERPRISES INC, $13.03, up 34 pct (1217 ET)
** SERVICE CORP INTERNATIONAL, $18.74, up 6 pct (1218 ET)
** CARRIAGE SERVICES INC $19.11, up 6 pct (1218 ET)
Service Corp agreed to buy Stewart Enterprises for $1.13 billion, merging the two largest U.S. funeral home operators as the industry gears up to offer more services to aging baby boomers.
More than 53 million shares changed hands by 1312 ET, compared with their 10-day moving average of 831,725. The stock was the top percentage gainer on the Nasdaq at 1229 ET.
Shares of peer Carriage Services were also up on the news.
** FACEBOOK INC, $23.63, down 2 pct (1218 ET)
Facebook said its systems to remove hate speech haven’t worked as well as the company had hoped, amid reports that advertisers are pulling their brands off the social network in the face of a backlash from women’s groups.
The stock was the second most traded on the exchange by 1315 ET.
** PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT INC, $18.63, down 10 pct (1431 ET)
The Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday that it filed a complaint aimed at stopping casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment from buying rival Ameristar Casinos Inc.
** ORBITZ WORLDWIDE INC $7.45, down 15 pct (1411 ET)
The online travel agency’s shares, which have gained 35 percent since posting a second-quarter profit on May 9, fell on what an analyst described as “profit taking”.
** ALVARION LTD , $2.19, down 13 pct (1325 ET)
The Israeli wireless broadband technology company said it would raise $2.9 million in private placements of shares that equal about 18.5 percent of the company’s outstanding shares before the transaction. The placement includes warrants to purchase shares that equal about 4 percent of the outstanding shares.
** MRC GLOBAL INC, $28.96, down 13 pct (1219 ET)
The pipes, valves and fittings distributor forecast current-quarter revenue in the range of $1.25 billion to $1.35 billion, missing the average analyst expectation of $1.44 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company also forecast lower-than-expected revenue of $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion for the full year.
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC , $1.98, up 8 pct (1219 ET)
The company and Azure Hydrogen Corp have extended the scope of their partnership to include fuel-cell buses. Ballard has received an upfront payment of $1 million to provide technical support to develop fuel-cell bus capabilities in China.
** THE FRESH MARKET INC, $50.91, up 10 percent (1220 ET)
The grocery-store operator said it expects earnings in the second-half of the year to exceed that in the first half and same-store sales to increase between 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent for the full year.
** PERFECT WORLD CO LTD, $14.45, up 12 pct (1220 ET)
The Chinese online game developer reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit due to lower operating expenses. The company posted a profit of $2.69 per American depositary share, compared with analysts’ estimates of $2.38 per ADS.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $6.04, down 12 pct (1222 ET)
The Chinese solar panel maker posted its seventh straight quarterly loss as a fall in panel prices more than offset cost reductions.
** PREMIER EXHIBITIONS INC, $2.07, down 10 pct (1222 ET)
The exhibitions operator reported a 12 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue on Tuesday after some of its exhibitions in New York City, which were closed after superstorm Sandy, remained shut.
The company, which holds the salvage rights to RMS Titanic, said it was exploring strategic and financial alternatives for the sale of the artifacts recovered from the wreck of ocean liner, after failing to close a deal with an unnamed group of individuals.
** BROWN SHOE COMPANY INC, $21.12, up 14 pct (1223 ET)
The shoe retailer’s adjusted first-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates as customers bought more of its Famous Footwear brand’s athletic and canvas styles. The company raised its full-year adjusted profit outlook to between $1.22 and $1.29 per share from between $1.18 to $1.25 per share.
** AEGERION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $67.86, up 12 pct (1223 ET)
Canaccord Genuity analysts raised their price target on the company’s stock to $90 from $54, saying that physicians at lipid clinics surveyed by them had high awareness of the company’s cholesterol-lowering drug Juxtapid.
The analysts said the findings were consistent with their assumptions that patients would prefer to use Juxtapid over an injected drug Kynamro, marketed by Genzyme, a unit of Sanofi SA .
** KEY ENERGY SERVICES INC, $6.59, up 5 pct (1224 ET)
New York-based MHR Fund Management LLC, co-founded by hedge fund investor Mark Rachesky, reported an 11.5 percent holding in the oilfield services provider. ( r.reuters.com/kas48t )
** TOP IMAGE SYSTEMS LTD, $2.91, down 9 pct (1224 ET)
The company, which makes products for digital data recognition, reported a first-quarter loss, compared with a profit a year earlier, on lower sales outside of the United States.
** HECLA MINING CO, $3.65, up 6 pct (1224 ET)
The silver miner said on Tuesday it received government approval for acquisition of Canada’s Aurizon Mines Ltd.
** WET-SEAL INC, $4.78, up 6 pct (1225 ET)
The teen-apparel retailer forecast second-quarter sales above Wall Street estimates and said it expects comparable-store sales to increase in the mid-single digits.
** SONUS NETWORKS INC, $2.83, up 10 pct (1225 ET)
Analysts at Jefferies raised their rating on the voice and data communication equipment maker’s stock to “buy” from “hold,” saying they expect the company to continue to meet or exceed investor expectations in 2013 and 2014.
** CHICO‘S FAS INC, $17.80, down 8 pct (1226 ET)
The women’s apparel retailer posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results, hurt by an unusually cool spring and increased promotions to clear out its merchandise.
** ASSOCIATED ESTATES REALTY CORP, $16.98, down 5.5 pct (1226 ET)
The REIT priced its offering of 6.5 million common stock at $17.25 per share on a forward basis, a discount of 4 percent to the stock’s Tuesday closing price.
** INLAND REAL ESTATE CORP, $10.59, down 5 percent (1227 ET)
The REIT priced its offering of 9 million common stock at $10.60 per share, 5 percent below the stock’s Tuesday closing price.
** SALLIE MAE CORP, $23.83, up 4 pct (1227 ET)
The student loan provider said it would split the company into two publicly traded entities and named John Remondi as its chief executive officer.
** TATA MOTORS LTD, $28.05, up 4 pct (1228 ET)
The Indian auto maker posted a 36.7 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit, a smaller-than-expected drop, as a jump in sales at its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) subsidiary offset falling profit at its domestic business.
** MAZOR ROBOTICS LTD, $10.82, up 4 pct (1159 ET)
The Israel-based company, which makes surgical guidance systems for spine surgery, said its first-quarter revenue more than doubled after it sold six of its systems in the United States. (Compiled by Chandni Doulatramani; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)