December 23, 2014 / 4:18 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Dollar stores, Dillard's, oil stocks

7 Min Read

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U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 setting new intraday records after an unexpectedly strong report on economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.45 percent at 18,039.97, the S&P 500 was up 0.21 percent at 2,082.86 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.07 percent at 4,784.96.

Graphic on U.S. GDP, (reut.rs/1va7NY50

** VANDA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $14.2695, +19.81 pct

** NOVARTIS AG, $93.1, -2.31 pct

The drugmaker settled a license dispute with Novartis over its schizophrenia drug, Fanapt. [ID:nPn8mCHpP

Vanda will regain U.S. and Canada rights to Fanapt and get exclusive worldwide license for similar drug, AQW051, from Novartis. Under the settlement, Novartis will buy Vanda shares worth $25 million at $13.82 per share.

Separately, Novartis said the European Commission had approved an additional treatment for its eyecare unit Alcon's Travatan treatment for glaucoma, a chronic, sight-threatening eye disease.

** DILLARD'S INC, $122.88, +5.31 pct

The department store operator is being considered an acquisition target by Canada-based Hudson's Bay Co's Chief Executive Richard Baker, Benzinga said, quoting a source-based story on The Deal. (bit.ly/1wCQtjZ)

Baker is interested in acquiring Dillard's because of its valuable real estate holdings and as it is one of the "better run" department store chains, the report said, without specifying a deal value.

** CRYOLIFE INC, $11, +5.87 pct

Piper Jaffray upgraded its rating on the medical device maker's stock to "overweight" from "neutral", according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $13.57, -15.24 pct

** ALTISOURCE PORTFOLIO SOLUTIONS SA, $28.71, -8.83 pct

The mortgage servicer's stock continued its fall, touching a three-year low of $12.82.

The company agreed on Monday to replace its chairman and founder, William Erbey, as part of a $150 million settlement with New York's financial regulator. Erbey will step down as chairman of Altisource Portfolio, which provides software solutions to Ocwen for servicing loans.

** SWIFT ENERGY CO, $4.47, +3.47 pct

** COMSTOCK RESOURCES INC, $7.27, +5.06 pct

** APPROACH RESOURCES INC, $6.855, +1.56 pct

Shares of oil and gas producers rose 3-6 percent. Brent crude oil steadied above $60 per barrel on Tuesday after data showed the U.S. economy grew at its quickest pace in 11 years in the third quarter, balancing downward pressure from a supply glut and evidence of weak global fuel demand.

U.S. crude up 1.7 percent at $56.20/barrel.

Breakingviews-Saudis give free-marketers dose of their medicine

** RADIAN GROUP INC, $16.83, +3.38 pct

** ASSURED GUARANTY LTD, $26.4, +3.69 pct

Mortgage insurer Radian said it would sell its bond guaranty business to Assured Guaranty for $810 million to focus on mortgages and real estate and comply with proposed changes to rules governing private mortgage insurers.

** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $12.728, -17.83 pct

Robert W. Baird & Co downgraded the hepatitis C drug developer's stock to "neutral" from "outperform", saying the company's drug data "raises as many questions as answers".

Achillion's ACH-3422's antiviral activity is slower than Gilead Sciences Inc's blockbuster Sovaldi, but ACH-3102's performance in combination with Sovaldi in six weeks is encouraging, Baird's analyst Brian Skorney said.

** ARMOUR RESIDENTIAL REIT INC, $3.655, -3.31 pct

The real estate investment trust expects to pay a dividend of 4 cents per share in the first three months of 2015. It paid a dividend of 5 cents in 2014.

** FAMILY DOLLAR INC, $79.4, +0.37 pct

** DOLLAR TREE INC, $69.795, +1.02 pct

** DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, $69.45, +1.15 pct

Family Dollar adjourned a special meeting of shareholders to vote on the company's potential acquisition by smaller rival Dollar Tree to Jan. 22 from Tuesday.

Family Dollar has twice rejected higher all-cash bids from bigger rival Dollar General.

** ARIAD PHARMA, $6.7527, -4.35 pct

The drugmaker entered an agreement with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co to develop and market its blood cancer drug, Iclusig, in 10 Asian countries including Japan.

Ariad will receive an upfront milestone payment of $77.5 million from Otsuka upon the drug's regulatory approval in Japan, followed by subsequent milestone-based payments.

** NQ MOBILE, $4.12, +19.08 pct

The Chinese mobile-security software maker's board has authorized an $80 million share repurchase. The company plans to fund the buyback with existing cash.

** INTERCLOUD SYSTEMS INC, $3.02, +3.42 pct

The telecom network service provider said it has been awarded $6.2 million contract for a tier 1 carrier for network upgrade in Southwest U.S., starting early 2015.

** CYTOKINETICS INC, $5.34, +8.98 pct

The drug developer has expanded a 2013 collaboration with Japan's Astellas Pharma Inc for further developing spinal muscular atrophy drug.

** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $19.57, +6.24 pct

The oil and gas company authorized a $1 billion stock buyback program and also closed sale of some of its oil and gas assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale fields to Southwestern Energy Co for $4.97 billion.

** KEURIG GREEN MOUNTAIN INC, $136.61, -2.27 pct

The K-cup coffee pod maker said it would recall about 7.2 million hot beverage-brewing machines that could overheat and cause injury by spraying hot liquids on users.

** GOPRO INC, $60.5696, +4.43 pct

The wearable camera maker's first lockup period expires on Tuesday, making about 15.3 million shares held by employees and early investors available for trading.

** SIERRA WIRELESS INC, $48.6499, +7.16 pct

Canaccord Genuity raised its target price on the wireless equipment maker's stock to $53 from $36.

Sierra said on Monday it would buy Swedish wireless communication services provider Wireless Maingate AB for $90 million.

Maingate's presence in Europe as well as its strong position in wireless connectivity equipment will boost Sierra's Europe business as well as services that connect devices to cloud, Canaccord analysts wrote in a note.

** CHINA FINANCE ONLINE CO LTD, $6.08, +14.29 pct

The web-based financial services company third-quarter loss narrowed and financial services revenue almost doubled to $17.1 million while advertising revenue rose 47 percent to $1.8 million.

** CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC, $39.32, +3.45 pct

The company on Monday said it would cut spending 40 percent, trim its rig fleet by a third and show less crude output growth than planned next year as oil prices tumble.

Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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