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U.S. stocks slumped shortly after the opening bell on Wednesday to extend recent declines, as worries over weak economies globally continued to pressure commodities and as U.S. retail sales for December fell short of expectations. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.40 percent at 17,367.24, the S&P 500 was down 1.08 percent at 2,001.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.70 pct at 4,628.77.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $56.13, -4.61 pct
** WELLS FARGO & CO, $50.98, -1.68 pct
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $15.89, -3.40 pct
U.S. large cap banks backpedal after JPMorgan and Wells Fargo report fourth-quarter results.
JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly profit as legal costs exceeded $1 billion in the wake of government probes into alleged wrongdoing and it set aside more to cover bad loans.
Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a slight increase in quarterly profit as it lent more to commercial and industrial customers, but mortgage lending fell to $44 billion from $50 billion a year earlier and $48 billion in the third quarter.
Graphic on bank earnings - here
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $33.78, -4.17 pct
The car maker’s chief financial officer, Chuck Stevens, said the number of car recalls would rise in 2015. The company, at the Global Auto Industry Conference, also said it did not expect to be profitable in Europe in 2015. It added that pricing in international markets was likely to be flat to slightly up and market share in North America would likely remain flat.
** ZIOPHARM ONCOLOGY INC, $8.7999, +53.31 pct
** INTREXON CORP, $33.68, +18.72 pct
Drug developers buy license to make cancer drugs using what is touted as the next big technology. Ziopharm and Intrexon bought license from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop a new CAR-T cell therapy, which modifies the body’s own defenses to kill cancer cells.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $190.3, -6.83 pct
Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday that the electric luxury car maker’s sales in China were “unexpectedly weak” during the fourth quarter.
The company plans to boost production of electric cars to “at least a few million a year” by 2025 from fewer than 40,000 last year, Musk said.
** REGADO BIOSCIENCES INC, $1.195, +38.95 pct
Privately held Tobira Therapeutics Inc is to buy Regado, which has been exploring strategic alternatives.
Regado suspended research on its blood-thinning drug in September. Tobira will own about 68 percent of the combined company, which will have a cash balance of nearly $60 million, enough to fund a study of Regado’s lead liver disease drug.
** SMITH MICRO SOFTWARE INC, $1.46, +15.87 pct
The wireless and mobility software maker estimated fourth-quarter 2014 revenue and forecasts full-year 2015 revenue above analysts’ average estimate.
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC, $18.59, -11.64 pct
Copper prices slid to their lowest in 5-1/2 years following cuts in global economic growth forecast by the World Bank and big falls oil prices. Three month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 4.7 percent at $5,584.50 at 08:18 ET.
Oil prices have fallen more than 13 percent so far in January.
** DATAWATCH CORP, $5.96, -21.78 pct
Canaccord Genuity downgraded the data analytics software maker’s stock to “hold” from “buy” after the company’s first-quarter revenue estimate fell below the average analyst expectation.
The brokerage also cut its price target to $6.50 from $12.
** GAMESTOP CORP, $37.06, +13.09 pct
The world’s largest retailer of video game products said December same-store store sales rose 4.4 percent, driven by higher demand for games such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4.
** ZELTIQ AESTHETICS INC, $29.63, +6.20 pct
The medical device maker estimated fourth-quarter revenue of $51 million-$52 million, compared with analysts’ estimate of $49.6 million.
Zeltiq said it expects 2015 revenue of about $230 million, above the $215.7 million estimated by analysts.
** BEBE STORES INC, $3.23, +8.39 pct
Analysts at Janney Capital Markets upgraded the women’s fashion retailer’s stock to “buy” from “hold”, citing the company’s return to positive comparable sales. The brokerage also raised fair value to $5 from $3.
** PROGRESS SOFTWARE CORP, $24.06, -8.86 pct
The enterprise software maker forecast FY 2015 profit well below estimates, citing acquisition-related financing and a stronger dollar.
Progress Software also reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $179.88, -2.73 pct
The banker had to write down its loan to the troubled Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo SA in the fourth quarter, cutting the bank’s profit and some employees’ bonuses, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** NOKIA OYJ, $7.66, +2.68 pct
JPMorgan hiked its price target on the Finnish company’s shares to 9 euros from 8 euros. The brokerage also named the stock a top pick in its sector for 2015.
JPMorgan said weakness in the euro may benefit Nokia. The brokerage also said low exposure in the U.S. would help the company as it expects overall telecom capex to be down marginally in 2015 due to a decline in U.S. capex.
** IROBOT CORP, $31, -5.75 pct
J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the robot maker’s stock to “underweight” from “neutral”, citing growth to decelerate in 2015. The brokerage also cut price target to $34 from $38.
** NEW MEDIA INVESTMENT GROUP INC, $20.7, -7.30 pct
The print and online publisher priced an offering of 7 million shares at $21.70, which represents a discount of 2.8 percent to the stock’s Tuesday close.
** MAGNA INTERNATIONAL INC, $97.07, -5.75 pct
The Canadian auto-parts maker and contract vehicle manufacturer forecast lower-than-estimated revenue for fiscal 2015.
Magna forecast total revenue of $34.4 billion to $36.1 billion for the year, short of analysts’ average estimate of $37.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** MONEYGRAM INTERNATIONAL INC, $8.0801, -4.38 pct
** WESTERN UNION CO, $17.46, -1.91 pct
Moneygram’s shares fall after larger rival Western Union said it would launch a service allowing U.S. customers to send cash directly to Mexican banks.
Western Union shares fall after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgrades the two companies' to "underperform" from "neutral," according to StreetInsider.com. (bit.ly/1u4bBR7) (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)