(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday after a 3-week losing skid for the S&P 500, as a recovery in the euro helped reassure U.S. investors who had been concerned about the impact of a robust dollar on the earnings of multinational companies. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.96 percent at 17,919.04, the S&P 500 was up 0.83 percent at 2,070.45 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.66 percent at 4,903.82.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $202.89, +2.77 pct
** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $172.67, +1.93 pct
** ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC, $89.36, +2.32 pct
Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it increased its offer for Salix to $173 per share, hoping to end a bidding war with Endo International for the bowel drug maker.
Endo said it would withdraw its cash-and-stock offer.
** LIFE TIME FITNESS INC, $70.72, +5.24 pct
The gym operator said it would be taken private by Leonard Green & Partners and TPG in a deal valued over $4 billion. The $72.10 per-share deal represents a 7.3 percent premium to Life Time’s Friday close.
** MIDSTATES PETROLEUM COMPANY INC, $0.9841, +28.62 pct
Oil and gas producer’s reports fourth quarter adjusted profit of 19 cents/share above average analyst estimate of 2 cents, helped by higher production, lower expenses. Company expects 2015 production of 30,000-33,000 boepd, compared with 2014 average production 32,137 boepd
** IDREAMSKY TECHNOLOGY LTD, $8.5701, -20.79 pct
The Chinese mobile game distributor estimated fourth-quarter revenue of $52.7 million-$53 million, below its forecast of $62.9 million-$66.1 million, citing delay in launching a game and less-than-expected revenue from another game.
** FXCM INC, $2.39, -7.36 pct
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgrades the retail currency broker’s stock to “underperform” from “marketperform”. KBW said in a note, “We ... lower our 2015 estimates to reflect the higher customer deficit than initially announced and the weaker February activity in institutional and retail accounts”.
** KING DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PLC, $15.48, +3.89 pct
JP Morgan raised its rating to “overweight” from “neutral”, citing the success of Candy Crush Soda Saga and expected launch of five new games this year. JP Morgan said in a note, “Candy Crush Saga has a longer tail than we anticipated, & sister title Candy Crush Soda Saga is off to a strong start & has reinvigorated the entire Candy franchise.”
** NETFLIX INC, $424.2828, -3.22 pct
Evercore ISI cut its rating on the streaming video service provider to “sell” from “hold” and lowered the price target to $380 from $450, citing strengthening competition and need for investments.
** DUPONT, $78.98, -1.89 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch downgraded the chemical company to “underperform” from “buy”, citing headwinds in agriculture and chemicals business against the backdrop of a strong dollar.
Trian Fund Management LP said there was “strong interest” among large DuPont shareholders for a representative from the hedge fund to join the company’s board.
** MICROVISION INC, $3.115, +13.69 pct
Laser projector maker said it received a $14.5 million order from a Fortune global 100 client. The company plans to start shipments in second half of 2015.
** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, $17.2, +3.55 pct
FDA approves medical device maker’s device to prevent stroke in patients with a dangerous irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation (AF). Credit Suisse, Barclays and BMO Capital Markets raise price target to $19 from $18.
** A. SCHULMAN INC, $45.23, +7.54 pct
Specialty chemical said it would buy privately held Citadel Plastics Holdings Inc for $800 million to expand its specialty business that makes moldable plastics.
** INOTEK PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $5.84, +2.64 pct
Cowen and Company starts drug developer’s coverage with “outperform” and $15 price target; Piper Jaffray with “overweight” and $9 target. Cowen and Piper Jaffray were joint book-running managers to the company’s IPO.
** CTI BIOPHARMA CORP, $2, +1.52 pct
The drugmaker said about 31 percent of patients who qualified for evaluation in a mid-stage trial of its blood cancer drug, pacritinib, had their spleen size reduced at least 35 percent. The study results were published in the journal Blood.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $192.17, +1.85 pct
The electric car maker will present a software update to its Model S vehicle at a news conference on Thursday that is designed to quell fears that drivers will run out of power for their cars, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Sunday.
** HANESBRANDS INC, $33.22, +1.87 pct
** AVON PRODUCTS INC, $7.59, -1.68 pct
Hanesbrands will replace Avon Products AVP.N in the S&P 500 after the close on March 20, S&P Dow Jones Indices said on Friday.
** SOTHEBY‘S, $41.06, +1.31 pct
** MADISON SQUARE GARDEN CO , $77.37, -1.06 pct
The auction house appointed Madison Square Garden Chief Executive Tad Smith its CEO, replacing William Ruprecht, its chief since 2000.
Compiled by Kshitiz Goliya; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila