(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks were modestly lower on Tuesday on profit-taking after the S&P 500 index climbed to a record in the prior session and on caution the Federal Reserve may end its stimulus sooner than expected. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.24 percent at 15,987.04, the S&P 500 was down 0.27 percent at 1,803.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.23 percent at 4,059.548.
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $3.09, -12.96 pct
** GENCO SHIPPING AND TRADING LTD, $2.04, -17.41 pct
The dry bulk shippers have hired restructuring advisers a month after creditors sold off large amounts of the companies' debts, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, quoting sources familiar with the matter. (r.reuters.com/dys35v)
Banks are trying to improve their balance sheets by scaling down exposure to the shipping industry, which has been in crisis for several years.
Reuters reported in November that Royal Bank of Scotland was in talks to sell $800 million in Eagle Bulk debt. Norwegian bank DNB has said it sold some of the debt it held against Genco.
** RAMBUS INC, $9.89, +15.94 pct
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, $23.16, +0.17 pct
The technology licensing company said on Monday it signed a patent cross license agreement with chipmaker Micron and settled all patent and antitrust claims.
The deal will bring Rambus royalty payments capped at $10 million per quarter over the next seven years, with a rolling twelve-month cap of $40 million, or $280 million during the initial term.
** NEUROMETRIX INC, $3.4227, +14.09 pct
The medical device maker said it entered into a distribution agreement with a unit of Omron Corp to market its test for the early detection of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), a common complication of diabetes.
DPN is characterized by numbness, loss of sensation, pain in the limbs and is the primary trigger for diabetic foot ulcers which may require amputations.
** TWITTER INC, $51.71, +5.23 pct
Investors piled into the loss-making San Francisco-based firm for the second straight day, lifting its shares to more than $52 and setting a new intraday high on Tuesday even in the absence of any significant announcements from the social media debutante.
Shares of Twitter were up 6 percent to $52.20 on Tuesday afternoon after a frenzied trading session on Monday, when Twitter closed up nearly 10 percent, its biggest gain ever.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.4599, +3.96 pct
Stifel upgraded its rating on Ariad’s stock to “buy” from “hold,” citing the “overwhelming support” shown by doctors at an industry conference for using the company’s blood cancer drug, Iclusig, as a third-line treatment, or when prior treatments fail.
** BURLINGTON STORES INC, $25.47, -9.36 pct
The off-price retailer forecast comparable-store sales growth of 2-3 percent in the key holiday quarter, compared with a 3.9 percent rise in the third quarter.
The company’s third quarter results topped analysts’ estimates helped by a rise in comparable-store sales.
** BIOLINE RX LTD, $2.77, +7.78 pct
The Israel-based company said its experimental drug, BL-8040, inhibited cancer cell growth and induced cancer cell death in mice engrafted with human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells in a preclinical study.
AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
** EVERTEC INC, $22.99, +8.91 pct
The payment processing company said Apollo Global Management LLC, Popular Inc and other shareholders would sell 15.2 million shares of the company, after which Apollo would no longer be a stockholder in the company.
Evertec said it would buy back from the underwriters $75 million of its stock being sold by the in the offering.
** RELYPSA INC, $21.62, +8.15 pct
At least four brokerages initiated coverage of the drug developer’s stock, which went public on Nov. 15.
Cowen and Co. and Wedbush set an “outperform” rating the company’s stock, while Stifel began its coverage with a “buy” rating. Morgan Stanley started its coverage with an “overweight” rating, according to Streetinsider.com.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $16.88, +5.50 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD, $6.01, +5.07 pct
** GOLDCORP INC, $21.94, +4.38 pct
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $24.38, +3.31 pct
** HECLA MINING CO, $2.942, +2.15 pct
** KINROSS GOLD CORP, $4.77, +4.15 pct
** ROYAL GOLD INC, $47.84, +5.79 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC,, $3.97, +5.31 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $10.1, +6.54 pct
** AGNICO EAGLE MINES LTD, $27.6, +6.44 pct
** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD, $13.19, +8.65 pct
** YAMANA GOLD INC, $9.06, +3.31 pct
** COEUR MINING INC, $11.16, +6.39 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $4.06, +3.84 pct
** SILVER WHEATON, $21.21, +4.02 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $3.64, +6.43 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $6.33, +4.98 pct
Gold hit a three-week high on Tuesday, supported by a broadly weaker dollar, with momentum also continuing after the market’s recent short-covering rally while investors and analysts speculated over the timing of U.S. monetary stimulus reduction.
Spot gold extended initial gains and rose as much as 1.6 percent and was trading up 1.5 percent by 1323 GMT.
Silver continued to take influence from gold and even outperformed the metal to rise 2.3 percent on the day to $20.31 per ounce.
** LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HOLDINGS INC, $92.15, -11.22 pct
The hardwood flooring products retailer raised its full year forecast, but it still fell slightly short of analysts’ estimates. The company expects to earn between $2.72-$2.75 per share in fiscal 2013. Analysts on an average were expecting earnings of $2.76 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ANALOGIC CORP, $86.35, -6.80 pct
The biotechnology company reported first-quarter results that fell well short of Wall Street estimates due to tepid sales in its medical imaging business, which fell 21 percent in the quarter.
** THE PEP BOYS - MANNY, MOE & JACK, $12.48, -6.94 pct
The aftermarket auto parts retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly results as competition hurt sales of its low-priced tires. Same-store sales fell 2.8 percent in the third quarter.
** ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP, $135.25, -8.94 pct
The Carl Icahn-controlled company sold 2 million depositary units and said the proceeds would be invested in its subsidiaries.
** FORMFACTOR INC, $5.66, +7.71 pct
The semiconductor wafer probe maker’s facility in China was making steady progress and got its first order since a fire at the facility that hurt the company’s fourth-quarter results, FormFactor said on a conference call.
The company also said it resolved the supply chain issues that affected deliveries to a key Japanese customer in the third and fourth quarters.
** ENANTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $35.355, +19.20 pct
** ABBVIE INC, $53.44, +4.35 pct
A late-stage trial of an experimental oral hepatitis C drug by the two companies showed about 96 percent of the patients had no detectable levels of the virus in the blood after 12 weeks.
** TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA LLC, $9.35, -8.78 pct
The operator of travel centers along the U.S. interstate highways said it began a public offering of 5 million shares late on Monday.
** COMTECH TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORP, $32.3, +3.23 pct
The communications equipment maker reported better-than-expected first-quarter results and raised its guidance for the fiscal year ending July 2014.
** PIONEER NATURAL RESOURCES CO, $180, +1.44 pct
** PIONEER SOUTHWEST ENERGY PARTNERS, $41.99, +1.94 pct
Oil and gas producer Pioneer Natural and its unit Pioneer Southwest Energy said their fourth-quarter results could fall short of their expectations after a severe winter in Texas hurt production.
** TRINITY INDUSTRIES INC, $52.01, +3.92 pct
The railcar manufacturer said Element Financial Corp agreed to provide it with lease financing of up to $2 billion worth of railcars over the next two years.
The first purchase of about $100 million of these leased railcars is expected to close by Dec. 31 and add 11 to 13 cents per share to Trinity’s fourth quarter earnings.
** FINISAR CORP, $21.91, -3.05 pct
The network equipment maker said on Monday it will offer $200 million worth of convertible senior notes, and would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital and acquisitions.
** AUTOZONE INC, $475.7, +4.01 pct
The largest U.S. auto parts retailer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as cold weather and delayed repairs drove demand for vehicle parts.
** PERKINELMER, $39.76, +2.77 pct
Macquarie upgraded its rating on the company’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral,” and said it expects PerkinElmer to accelerate its revenue growth in 2014 through innovation and market share gains within its current product portfolio.
Analyst Jon Groberg also raised his price target on the stock to $45 from $40.
** PINNACLE FOODS INC, $27, -3.47 pct
The packaged foods company said on Monday that some of its stockholders had begun a secondary offering of 17 million shares. The company also said the underwriters have an option to purchase up to an additional 2.6 million shares from the stockholders.
** DIODES INC, $22.3, +8.62 pct
The maker of diodes, transistors and sensors raised its fourth-quarter gross profit margin forecast to 26.6-30.6 percent from 26-30 percent. The company maintained its fourth-quarter revenue outlook of $205-$220 million. (Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Edited by Savio D‘Souza)