October 28, 2013 / 2:04 PM / 4 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Merck, Clovis, Crocs, Burger King, Zogenix, Dendreon

7 Min Read

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Oct 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened flat on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares higher after the S&P 500 climbed to record highs on Federal Reserve stimulus and stronger-than-expected earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.62 points or 0.09 percent, to 15,556.66, the S&P 500 gained 0.15 point or 0.01 percent, to 1,759.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.584 point, or 0.01 percent, to 3,942.777.

** CLOVIS ONCOLOGY INC, $62.04, up 10.3 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)

The cancer drug developer said on Sunday that interim data from an early-stage trial on its experimental lung cancer drug showed evidence of tumor shrinkage and was well-tolerated with no evidence of rash or dose-related diarrhea.

** CROCS INC, $13.06, down 4.5 pct (9:47 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Piper Jaffray cut its rating on the shoe maker's stock to "neutral" from "overweight," TheFlyOnTheWall.com reported.

** ALLIANCE RESOURCE PARTNERS LP, $75.52, down 1 pct (9:48 a.m. ET)

The coal miner said it expects full-year profit, revenue and coal output to be near the lower end of its earlier forecast due to unexpected disruption of production at its Onton mine in the Illinois basin.

** CONSOL ENERGY INC, $37.42, down 1.7 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)

The company, founded during the U.S. Civil War, said it will sell five West Virginia coal mines to privately held Murray Energy Corp amid regulatory uncertainty and as it focuses more on growing its natural gas operations.

** CF INDUSTRIES HOLDINGS INC, $218.07, up 4 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)

** MOSAIC CO, $46.79, up 1.9 pct (9:50 a.m. ET)

Mosaic said it would buy the phosphate business of the fellow U.S. fertilizer company for $1.2 billion in cash.

** TENNECO INC, $54.44, up 2.9 pct (9:50 a.m. ET)

The auto parts maker reported third-quarter results above analysts' expectations as strong vehicle sales in the United States boosted demand for parts.

** TRIMAS CORP, $41.53, down 0.8 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

The company, which makes packaging equipment, gaskets and aerospace fasteners, reported third-quarter profit above analysts' expectations as it got a boost from recent acquisitions and the company raised its sales forecast for 2013.

** DARA BIOSCIENCES INC, $0.51, up 1 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

The pharmaceutical company expanded its sales force catering to the U.S. oncology market through an agreement with Alamo Pharma Services, a unit of privately held Mission Pharmacal. Dara said it expects to have the sales force trained and in the field by Jan. 1.

** ANACOR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $13.05, up 1.5 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)

The company will get $142.5 million from Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc after the companies settled intellectual property-related disputes.

** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO, $51.00, up 4.6 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)

Analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their rating on the drugmaker's stock to "overweight" from "equal weight," according to theflyonthewall.com.

** MYRIAD GENETICS INC, $25.81, up 1.2 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)

The molecular diagnostics company said validation data demonstrated the company's lung cancer test significantly predicted patients' risk of death from early-stage lung adenocarcinoma, a form of lung cancer, within five years of being diagnosed.

** BOARDWALK PIPELINE PARTNERS LP, $30.96, down 1 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)

The midstream master limited partnership reported a lower-than-expected profit for the third quarter, hurt by a fall in revenue for its services due to a reduction in the level of natural gas price spreads over time.

** BIOGEN IDEC, $259.70, up 3 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)

The company reported $286 million in third-quarter sales of its high-profile new multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, providing fresh evidence that the medicine is off to an impressive launch and exceeding expectations.

** MERCK & CO INC, $45.52, down 2.2 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

The drugmaker reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Monday thanks to cost cutting, but lower sales of its Januvia diabetes treatment added fresh evidence its biggest product was losing ground to newer drugs.

** BURGER KING WORLDWIDE INC, $20.84, up 5.5 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

The fast-food chain known for its Whopper hamburgers reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit as it slashed costs by franchising more outlets and sales grew outside North America.

** AMC NETWORKS INC, $68.61, down 2.5 pct (9:55 a.m. ET)

** LIBERTY MEDIA CORP, $150.70, down 0.5 pct (9:55 a.m. ET)

The cable television network said it would buy Chellomedia, the international content unit of John Malone's Liberty Global Plc, for about $1.04 billion, giving it greater control over the global distribution of its programs.

** NQ MOBILE INC, $12.18, up 14.6 pct (9:57 a.m. ET)

The Chinese mobile security software company labelled a "massive fraud" by Muddy Waters Research Group, hit back on Friday by releasing details of its bank accounts and threatening legal action.

** ZOGENIX INC, $3.28, up 8 pct (9:58 a.m. ET)

The specialty pharmaceutical company said on Friday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its drug for treating pain severe enough to require around-the-clock, long-term treatment.

William Blair analyst Tim Lugo raised his price target on the company's stock to $6 from $3, saying that the drug had a substantial opportunity in the market for chronic pain drugs.

"If we assume a relatively conservative $7 per day and an average 25 days of therapy, only a 1 percent penetration into the combination market would suggest a $245 million product," he wrote in a note to clients.

** DENDREON CORP, $2.90, up 14.4 pct (9:58 a.m. ET)

The drug maker is looking for a suitor after sales for its lead product, prostate cancer drug Provenge, were weaker than expected, according to a Bloomberg report.

** HAEMONETICS CORP, $40.37, down 1 pct (9:58 a.m. ET)

The company, which provides devices, information management and consulting services related to the collection and transfusion of blood, reported better-than-expected adjusted second-quarter earnings of 66 cents per share, fueled by a 14 percent rise in sales of its plasma collection devices in North America

** ROPER INDUSTRIES INC, $127.06, down 4.5 pct (9:59 a.m. ET)

The company, which makes radio frequency and medical and scientific imaging products, forecast current-quarter profit below analysts' estimates, saying it expects growth in the energy industry and some other markets to be slower-than-expected. (Compiled by Sampad Patnaik; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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