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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.40 percent at 18,651.29, the S&P 500 was up 0.29 percent at 2,190.49 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.44 percent at 5,256.028.
** MID-AMERICA APARTMENT COMMUNITIES INC, $96.99, -5.05 pct
** POST PROPERTIES INC, $67.75, +8.89 pct
Mid-America Apartment said it would buy Post Properties for about $3.88 billion to create the largest publicly traded multifamily apartment real estate investment trust by units.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $26.33, +5.66 pct
Mizuho Securities raised its rating on the Canadian drugmaker's stock to "neutral" from "underperform", saying that "because Valeant can relax its interest coverage covenants, we just don't think it will matter as much if the company misses its guidance in future quarters." Valeant is offering to pay lenders higher interest rates to obtain an amendment to its debt agreement that would loosen one of its covenants, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Mizuho, which had an "underperform" rating on the stock since March, more than doubled its price target to $25 from $11.
** AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $1.8462, -54.86 pct
The Canadian drug developer said its experimental lead drug, voclosporin, met the main goal of improving remission rates in patients with lupus nephritis, in a mid-stage study. However, there were 13 deaths reported across the trial, which the company said were deemed unrelated to the study drug.
** TWITTER INC, $20.29, +3.84 pct
The microblogging service provider is in talks with Apple Inc to bring the Twitter app to Apple TV, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing sources. Twitter is also in discussions with major league soccer and professional golfers association for streaming deals, the NYT reported. (nyti.ms/2aUN3ae)
** SYSCO CORP, $53.44, +2.36 pct
The food distribution company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower dairy and meat prices.
Separately, activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management LLP increased its stake in the company by about 1.6 percent at end of June 30, according to a filing. (bit.ly/2bo8TS8)
** XYLEM INC, $49.81, +2.81 pct
The U.S. water technology company said it would buy Sensus USA Inc, a provider of advanced metering technologies to utilities, for around $1.7 billion in cash.
** ANTHEM INC, $129.34, -0.65 pct
** CIGNA CORP, $132.08, -0.92 pct
The judge overseeing the U.S. Justice Department's bid to stop health insurer Anthem from merging with competitor Cigna said on Friday her goal was to have a ruling by the end of January, later than the Dec. 30 date sought by Anthem. (Compiled by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)