Jan 2 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Wednesday:
WALL ST STARTS 2013 WITH A RALLY ON ‘CLIFF’ AGREEMENT
U.S. stocks soared on the first day of trading in 2013, after Washington lawmakers cut a last-minute deal to avoid automatic tax hikes that threatened to pinch economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.66 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index up 1.65 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index up 2.17 percent. Wednesday marked the best day for the Nasdaq since June 30.
** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP, $4.52, up 23 pct (1025 ET)
** CLEANTECH SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL INC, $4.30, up 8.3 pct (1026 ET)
As a part of the legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, Congress extended a $1.01 a gallon credit for making biofuels from cellulose, found in woody plants, trees and grasses. Fuel produced from algae was made eligible for the credit as well.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $12.05, up 4 pct (0943 ET)
** WELLS FARGO & CO, $34.99, up 2.3 pct (0943 ET)
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $44.93, up 2.8 pct (0942 ET)
** CITIGROUP Inc, $41.28, up 4 pct (0942 ET)
U.S. regulators are close to securing another multibillion-dollar settlement with the largest banks to resolve allegations that they unlawfully cut corners when foreclosing on delinquent borrowers, a source familiar with the talks said.
** APPLE INC, $552.71, up 3.8 pct (0941 ET)
The most valuable technology company has started testing a new iPhone and the next version of its iOS software, news website The Next Web reported. Application developers have found in their app usage logs references to a new iPhone identifier, iPhone 6.1, running iOS 7 operating system, the website reported.
** FACEBOOK INC, $27.69, up 4 pct (0940 ET)
JPMorgan Securities raised its price target on the stock to $35 from $29, saying the social network’s advertising revenue will rise at least through the first quarter of 2013, and the recently launched Facebook Exchange ad system would improve ad sales.
** SYNERGY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.33, up 20 pct (0940 ET)
The company reported positive results from a key study of its experimental chronic constipation drug, putting it a step closer to hitting the U.S. market and competing with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc’s recently launched drug.
** ZIPCAR INC, $12.19, up 48 pct (0939 ET)
** AVIS BUDGET GROUP INC, $20.58, up 4 pct (0939 ET)
** HERTZ GLOBAL HOLDINGS INC, $16.97, up 4 pct (0938 ET)
Car rental company Avis will buy Zipcar for about $500 million, surpassing larger rivals Hertz and Enterprise Holdings Inc to become the No.1 player in the fast-growing U.S. car-sharing market.
** LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP, $49.33, up 7 pct (1015 ET)
** MGM RESORTS, $12.19, up 5 pct (1015 ET)
** WYNN RESORTS LTD, $118.34, up 5 pct (1016 ET)
Macau, the world’s largest casino market, raked in $38 billion in annual gambling revenue in 2012 after monthly revenue for December hit a record, a signal of sustained strength in the only place in China where visitors are able to legally gamble in casinos.
** SKULLCANDY INC, $7, down 10 pct (0937 ET)
Jefferies & Co downgraded the headphone maker to “underperform” from “buy” and cut its price target on the stock to $6 from $17, citing increasing competition and a lack of pricing power.
** RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD, $12.20, up 2.8 pct (0938 ET)
Wireless technology patent holder InterDigital Inc said it has extended a license agreement with the BlackBerry maker and added the license coverage for 4G products, including LTE and LTE-Advanced products.
** REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDINGS, $6.55, up 15 pct (1000 ET)
The company raised its profit forecast to between 30 cents and 36 cents per share for the fourth quarter ended December, late on Monday. It had forecast earnings of 18 cents to 24 cents. (link.reuters.com/wuz84t)
** MOLYCORP INC, $10.91, up 15.57 percent (1130 ET)
Investors bought back into the embattled rare earth producer, which lost more than 60 percent of its value in 2012.
Jon Hykawy, an analyst at Byron Capital Markets in Toronto, attributed the climb to a “new year reset”. “People sold it down at the end of last year, took their tax loss, and now they are saying, ‘OK, I liked it last year, I like it now, I‘m going to re-buy and reset my price and basically start again,'”.
The company is in the final stages of an expansion and modernization at its Mountain Pass mine in California, which is expected to produce significant volumes of rare earth metals, oxides and alloys in 2013.
** DOLE FOOD CO $9.94, down 13.3 pct (1000 ET)
The world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer said the sale of its worldwide packaged food and Asian fresh food operations to Itochu Corp will now close in early 2013, pending Chinese regulatory approvals. The company also said earnings would fall in its fresh fruit business.
** CHINA BIOLOGIC PRODUCTS INC $14.88, down 9 pct (1004 ET)
The biopharmaceutical company said it expects production at its Chinese plant to be delayed because of slower-than-expected government approval.
** SUNPOWER CORP, $6.04, up 7 pct (1003 ET)
The solar equipment maker sold its 579-megawatt Antelope Valley projects in California to a unit of MidAmerican Renewables, part of the Berkshire Hathaway Inc conglomerate. SunPower will operate and maintain the facility. Construction of the solar project is scheduled to begin in first quarter 2013.
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $130.05, up 2 pct (0946 ET)
Ten senior Goldman Sachs executives, including Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, were on New Year’s Eve given stock pegged to earlier restricted awards worth tens of millions of dollars.
** U.S. STEEL CORP, $24.91, up 4 pct (0947 ET)
** OLYMPIC STEEL INC, $23.50, up 6 pct (0948 ET)
Credit Suisse upgraded U.S. Steel, the top steel producer in the United States by volume, to “outperform” from “neutral”. The brokerage raised Olympic Steel’s rating to “neutral” from “underperform”.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $29.12, up 1.04 pct (1019 ET)
** FORD MOTOR CO, $13.11, up 1.24 pct (1019 ET)
U.S. new-vehicle sales are expected to top 15 million this year, helped by growth in the large pickup truck sector and an improving economy, according to market research firm Polk.
** MINDRAY MEDICAL INTERNATIONAL LTD, $30.00, down 8 pct (1046 ET)
Credit Suisse cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “outperform”, saying near-term impact to U.S. sales may be more severe than expected due to a recall of an anesthesia delivery system. The brokerage also cut its price target on the stock to $32 from $34.
** BRUNSWICK CORP, $30.79, up 6 pct (1047 ET)
BMO Capital Markets raised its rating on the recreational boat maker’s stock to “market outperform” from “market perform”, citing a rise in boat show attendance and the replacement of boats lost during Hurricane Sandy.
** URBAN OUTFITTERS INC, $40.27, up 2 pct (1054 ET)
Jefferies & Co upgraded its rating on the clothing retailer’s stock to “hold” from “underperform”, saying the company has improved revenue and margins as it reduced promotions to normal historical levels. The brokerage also said Urban Outfitters’ namesake and Anthropologie brands will continue to improve in the coming quarters.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, $20.03, down 2 pct (1015 ET)
Jefferies & Co downgraded the teen clothing retailer’s stock to “hold” from “buy”, saying it sees a lack of catalysts in 2013 and that sales growth at the company was likely to slow.
** NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP, $12.13, down 7.47 pct (1150 ET)
JPMorgan Securities downgraded the telecom services provider to “neutral” from “overweight”, saying the company’s major customer Sprint Nextel Corp may renegotiate terms of a contract after it expires in 2015. “We now assume that nTelos’s roaming income will decline by 50 percent year-over-year after the current contract expires,” JP Morgan analyst Philip Cusick wrote in a note to clients. Cusick halved his price target on the stock to $10.
** TIFFANY & CO, $58.90, up 3 pct (1125 ET)
The upscale jeweler retailer and jewelry designer Elsa Peretti have reached a new 20-year license agreement, clearing a cloud hanging over a collection that accounts for about 10 percent of the company’s sales. (Compiled by Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore)