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U.S. stocks rose modestly on Wednesday as energy-related shares rose for a third straight session and data pointed to improving conditions in the U.S. services sector, which makes up a majority of the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.10 percent at 17,896.86, the S&P 500 was up 0.23 percent at 2,071.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.19 percent at 4,764.73.
** TECHNICAL COMMUNICATIONS CORP, $6.07, +51.43 pct
The company received a contract worth $3.3 million from Egypt for military bulk encryption products and expects to deliver equipment, used to protect missile firing commands and military telephone networks, in first nine months of FY15.
** PUMA BIOTECHNOLOGY INC, $193.13, -14.16 pct
The company said marketing application for its breast cancer drug will be delayed to Q1 2016 from H12015, after FDA asked for data on risk of patients developing secondary cancer.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $7.175, -2.91 pct
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock to "sell" from "neutral". Competition from online and off-price stores, slow e-commerce growth, weak trends in key categories and slowing comparable store sales will hurt company's multi-year outlook, analysts wrote in note.
** SEQUENOM INC, $3.76, +23.28 pct
The companies settle patent dispute and pool patent related to non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
Sequenom to get $50 million upfront payment and royalties on diagnostic kits for NIPT; Illumina to get rights to develop and sell in-vitro diagnostic kits from pooled patents.
** ALICO INC, $41.25, +15.09 pct
The agricultural land manager bought three Florida citrus producers for about $363 million. Says acquisition to make the company the largest citrus producer in U.S.
** J2 GLOBAL INC, $59.89, +5.13 pct
** CARBONITE INC, $14.4, +22.45 pct
J2 Global proposed to acquire shares of Carbonite it does not already own for $15 per share in cash.(1.usa.gov/12sreVS)
J2 currently owns 9.42 pct of Carbonite, making it the second-largest stockholder.
** G-III APPAREL GROUP LTD, $96.5, +14.39 pct
The apparel and accessories maker reported better-than-expected Q3 profit and sales, helped by increased demand for dresses, outerwear and sportswear.
** BOB EVANS FARMS INC, $49.38, -11.49 pct
KeyBanc Capital Markets cut its rating on the stock to "underweight" from "hold". Bob Evan cut top end of fiscal 2015 profit forecast range on Tuesday and said it now expected $1.90-$2.10 per share compared with $1.90-$2.20 forecast earlier
** MOL GLOBAL INC, $3.86, +5.75 pct
The company's largest shareholder, billionaire Vincent Tan, said on Tuesday he had "utmost confidence" in the company's management.
Tan, who owns 45 pct of the company, said CFO Allan Wong's departure and delay in earnings release was an unfortunate coincidence, leading to "unhealthy speculation" about MOL's financials.
** GFI GROUP INC, $5.38, +6.96 pct
Futures market operator CME raised its agreed-upon offer for derivatives broker GFI to $5.25 per hare from $4.55, matching inter-dealer broker BGC Partners Inc's hostile bid for GFI in October.
** MAGELLAN PETROLEUM CORP, $1.0999, +15.78 pct
The company received an option to buy Farnham Dome, a carbon-dioxide reservoir in Carbon County, Utah, from Savoy Energy LLC.
The seller has granted right to either buy the field outright or buy uncontracted carbon-dioxide at a fixed price.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $8.64, +5.88 pct
The iron and coal producer said it would sell its Logan County coal assets in West Virginia in the fourth quarter and it would explore sale options for other coal assets.
"With remaining assets still on the table, we expect additional transactions to take place going forward, which should provide additional cash inflows over the coming quarters," FBR Capital Markets & Co analyst Mitesh Thakkar said.
** ENERGY XXI LTD, $3.57, +11.56 pct
** GOODRICH PETROLEUM CORP, $4.01, +1.52 pct
** SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC, $2.51, +1.62 pct
** PETROBRAS SA, $9.37, +4.11 pct
** TALISMAN ENERGY INC, $4.65, +0.22 pct
Brent oil rose as the market searched for a price floor after a near 40 percent fall since June, and as U.S. crude stocks fell last week.
Brent crude up 0.75 pct at $71.07/bbl at 10:48 ET; U.S. crude up 1.32 pct at $67.76/bbl.
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $5.92, +10.04 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $4.32, +7.20 pct
** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, $67.92, +3.57 pct
** RIO ALTO MINING LTD, $2.56, +4.92 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $2.435, +9.68 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $3.7, +5.11 pct
** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD, $9.15, +3.39 pct
U.S.-listed shares of global gold and silver miners up 3-8 percent. Gold rises above $1,200 an ounce, boosted by firmer oil prices that prompted investors to shuffle positions in a volatile market. Silver rises 0.85 pct.
** JD.COM INC, $25.13, +5.10 pct
Chinese e-commerce company's shareholders sell 26 million ADSs in secondary offering priced at $23.80/ADS for gross proceeds of about $619 million..
A unit of Chinese investment company Tencent Holdings Ltd , a shareholder, buys $150 million of ADSs.
** OMNOVA SOLUTIONS INC, $7.29, +8.32 pct
Activist investor Barington Capital Group LP asks company's Chief Executive Kevin McMullen to consider sale of low-margin engineered surfaces business. Barington, which owns about 2 pct of Omnova, also asks CEO to add independent directors to board.
** HISTOGENICS CORP, $11.62, +5.64 pct
The pharmaceutical company's shares rise as much as 18 percent to $12.97, valuing it at about $140 million. The offering was priced at $11 per share, below the expected range of $13-$15. The offering size was raised to 5.9 million shares from 4.3 million.
** TASER INTERNATIONAL INC, $22.1499, -5.10 pct
J.P. Morgan Securities cut its rating to "neutral" from "overweight". "The stock has gone through our $20 price target, and although we remain positive on TASR's growth prospects, we are going to the sidelines at this price level," analyst Paul Coster wrote in a note.
** TUNIU CORP, $12.3, -3.23 pct
The Chinese online travel company files for offering of up to $100 million ADSs. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand sales and marketing efforts. (1.usa.gov/1vbMrcH) (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)