(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 fell on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.53 percent at 16,370.97, the S&P 500 was up 0.01 percent at 1,838.86 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.33 percent at 4,211.578.
** YRC WORLDWIDE INC, $17.86, +12.90 pct
The trucking company and the Teamsters union reached a tentative deal for a new labor contract that sets the stage for the struggling company to push ahead with a refinancing plan.
The Teamsters will review the contract on Tuesday.
** ZIPREALTY INC, $4.88, -25.61 pct
The online real estate company estimated a 4 percent fall in fourth-quarter revenue on Friday due to a sharper-than-expected slowdown in real estate sales in its markets.
In the quarter, the company also settled a legal claim relating to its previous business practices and agreed to pay $1.7 million.
The stock, trading more than six times its average trading volume, was the top percentage loser on the Nasdaq at 12:23 p.m. ET.
** SANDISK CORP, $71.38, -3.13 pct
BofA Merrill downgraded the flash device storage maker’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral” and cut its price target to $65 from $75.
** MECHEL OAO, $2.17, -2.25 pct
JP Morgan Securities analysts downgraded the Russian miner’s stock to “underweight” from “neutral” and slashed their price target to $1.40 from $6.20, citing high debt, weak coal prices and weak demand.
** EXPEDIA INC, $67.8, -4.09 pct
Technology blog Search Engine Land said the online travel agency seemed to have lost about 25 percent of its search visibility on Google search engine.
"It looks like Google has penalized Expedia in their search results" after Expedia likely used paid links on article sites, the blog said on Monday, referring to a practice that could manipulate a company's ranking in Google's search results and violate Google's policy on link-based searches. (r.reuters.com/kyw26v)
“We typically don’t comment on specific companies regarding search rankings,” a Google spokesman said. Expedia could not be reached for comment.
Analysts said they did not expect the penalty, if any, to hurt Expedia’s results. “Google Search penalties are often temporary (they may be resolved within a few weeks or less),” Cowen & Co analyst Kevin Kopelman wrote in a note.
** NUPATHE INC, $4.04, -7.76 pct
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES, $45.11, +1.90 pct
Teva will acquire NuPathe for $3.65 per share in cash, or $144 million, to expand its portfolio of medicines to treat conditions affecting the central nervous system.
** TEEKAY TANKERS LTD, $4.42, +12.18 pct
The tanker company said it would form a company, along with Teekay Corp, to buy, sell and operate secondhand tankers to benefit from an expected recovery in the market.
Teekay Corp and Teekay Tankers have invested $25 million each in the new company’s $250 million equity offering, for a combined 20 percent ownership interest.
** SIGNATURE BANK, $125.67, +14.14 pct
The bank reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings due to a sharp rise in deposits and loans. The company reported a profit of $1.34 per share. Analysts on average were expecting $1.27 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The bank’s net interest income rose 21.2 percent to $178.3 million.
** INFINERA CORP, $7.46, -12.54 pct
Jefferies cut its price target on the optical networking equipment maker’s stock to $8 from $12, saying Verizon has offered a deal to Infinera’s rival Alcatel-Lucent. Jefferies has a “hold” rating on Infinera’s stock.
“We estimate that Infinera missed out on a deal worth perhaps $100 million/year over a 2-year period,” the brokerage said in a note. “Moreover, the company has been spending a very large amount of resources on the Verizon opportunity. In total, this lost deal hurts for the company.”
** TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORP, $33.729, +4.07 pct
The largest U.S. discount brokerage by client trading activity said its fiscal first quarter profit rose 30.6 percent from a year earlier on fees from growing client assets and renewed investor interest in trading securities.
** CYTRX CORP, $7.29, +3.55 pct
The drug developer said it received U.S. regulatory approval to extend dosing cycles of its experimental cancer therapy, aldoxorubicin, until disease progression in a late-stage trial. The study design had originally called for dosing to be stopped after six treatment cycles.
Additional treatment cycles create potential for substantially improved efficacy results, the company said.
** BLACKBERRY INC, $9.935, +9.42 pct
The struggling smartphone maker’s Toronto Stock Exchange-listed shares jumped 8.2 percent on Monday as short positions in the stock waned and after Pentagon said last week the company’s devices were a core part of its mobile strategy.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, $45.56, +5.78 pct
Activist investor and hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb has taken a stake in the U.S. chemical maker and wants the company to spin off its petrochemical arm, according to a letter to investors seen by Reuters.
** ALCOA INC, $12.246, +7.80 pct
JPMorgan analysts raised their rating on the aluminum producer’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral,” citing reduced estimates for 2014 global surplus. Analysts also raised their 2014 and 2015 earnings estimate for Alcoa.
** BIOSCRIP INC, $8.1, +7.43 pct
Hedge fund manager Oscar Schafer has recently taken a large stake in the company, he said at the Barron’s Roundtable investment conference on Saturday. Schafer also indicated that the company, which provides drug infusion therapies at patients’ homes, could be a valuable acquisition target.
“Schafer essentially pitched (Bioscrip)... based on the mid-teens growth rate of the home infusion industry and cost cutting initiatives and ongoing integration of acquisitions management is working on at the moment,” Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut told Reuters.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $21.02, -6.29 pct
** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, $6.84, -2.43 pct
Chinese steel and iron ore futures fell on Tuesday to their weakest levels since they were launched, reflecting thin demand from the world’s top consumer of the two commodities that has also slashed spot iron ore prices by 7 percent this month.
Iron ore for immediate delivery to China .IO62-CNI=SI fell nearly 2 percent to $124.80 a ton on Monday, its lowest since July 10, according to data compiled by Steel Index.
** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, $34.525, -2.06 pct
The maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies added activist investor Nelson Peltz to its board in a deal that ends his campaign to have the company merge with PepsiCo Inc.
** KNIGHT TRANSPORTATION INC, $20.22, +2.90 pct
The transportation company estimated fourth-quarter profit of 24-25 cents per share, higher than its previous forecast of 20-23 cents. The company also raised its first-quarter earnings forecast to 19-21 cents per share from 18-20 cents.
Knight Transportation said it was raising its forecast due to an improvement in revenue per tractor, growth in non-asset based businesses, and cost management.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $28.18, +5.23 pct
Needham & Co analyst Chad Messer raised the company’s stock to “buy” from “hold,” saying he believed its drug to treat a rare muscular disorder was safe and effective, and would be approved by U.S. health regulators.
Messer said positive data last week from a mid-stage trial showed it was likely that the drug was active. He said he expected Sarepta to run a late-stage trial before filing for approval.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in November that the design and goals of Sarepta’s current trial might not be sufficient to win marketing approval for the drug, eteplirsen.
** AMARIN CORP PLC, $1.72, -24.23 pct
U.S. health regulators rejected a preset testing process as the Irish drugmaker seeks broader use of its blood fat-lowering drug. The company said it planned to appeal the decision, but that it did not expect a decision on the extended use of the drug while the appeal is pending.
** INTELIQUENT INC, $12.85, +21.69 pct
Raymond James raised its rating on the network connectivity services company’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” citing its hiring of a chief financial officer from outside the company. “His hiring also implies to us that the board believes there is upside to the company in its current form versus a sale,” analyst Frank Louthan wrote in a note.
** VIOLIN MEMORY INC, $3.42, -9.04 pct
Brokerage Barclays cut its rating on the flash storage provider’s stock to “underweight” from “equal-weight,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC INC, $13.86, +2.59 pct
Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the company’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral,” saying the medical device maker has the best fundamental story among cardio players in 2014. The brokerage raised its price target on the stock to $18 from $12.
Boston Scientific competes with Medtronic Inc and St Jude Medical for its heart rhythm devices and with Medtronic and Abbott Laboratories for heart stents.
** AFFYMETRIX INC, $9.48, +2.38 pct
The company said it received clearance from the U.S. health regulator to market its genomic test to help doctors diagnose developmental and intellectual disabilities in children.
** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, $26.16, -1.58 pct
** CAMERON INTERNATIONAL CORP, $58.79, +0.17 pct
GE agreed to buy flow equipment provider Cameron International Corp’s reciprocating compression division for $550 million as it looks to benefit from the boom in the development of shale oil and gas fields.
** BAKER HUGHES INC, $55.6, +2.70 pct
The world’s third-largest oilfield services company reported a slightly higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a rise in revenue from the Middle East and Africa.
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $86.84, -4.08 pct
Credit Suisse downgraded the 3D printer maker’s stock to “neutral” from “outperform,” while upgrading rival Stratasys’s stock. Credit Suisse said 3D Systems’ stock trades at a significant premium to Stratasys shares, which was unjustified because of the two companies’ similar scale, and Stratasys’s “superior consumer and prosumer positioning.”
** NU SKIN ENTERPRISES, $78.15, -1.66 pct
The skincare products maker said it would suspend promotional meetings where it recruits new distributors in China, days after Chinese regulators launched probes into its business practices. The company said in a letter to customers on Tuesday that an internal investigation found instances where some of its sales representatives had failed to “adequately follow and enforce our policies and regulations.”
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY, $26.1, +2.55 pct
Analysts at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded the oil and gas producer’s stock to “buy” from “neutral” and raised their price target to $35 from $28, citing the company’s holdings in the rich shale fields of Utica, Marcellus and Eagle Ford. “Investor focus has been on Chesapeake’s outspend and other prior issues, while ignoring the company’s leading positions in three of the most economic U.S. plays,” the analysts said in a note.
** GAP INC, $38.469, +3.13 pct
Brokerage Sterne Agee & Leach raised its price target on the apparel retailer’s stock to $44 from $38, saying the company’s U.S. holiday season performance was strong, in contrast to other retailers who struggled to boost sales during the period.
** DELTA AIR LINES INC, $31.99, +2.96 pct
The U.S. carrier reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, aided by lower fuel costs.
** ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV SA, $102.93, +1.44 pct
The world’s biggest brewer agreed to buy back South Korea’s Oriental Brewery Co Ltd for $5.8 billion including debt, returning to a large Asian market at a time of strong industry growth across the region. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)