August 13, 2013 / 2:28 PM / in 4 years

CORRECTED-MARKET PULSE-J.C. Penney, Eli Lilly, Whirlpool, First BanCorp, Xerox

(Corrects sub-head on markets blurb to “Wall St falls to session lows” from “Wall Street slightly higher after retail data”)

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Tuesday:

WALL ST FALLS TO SESSION LOWS

U.S. stocks turned negative and fell to session lows in morning trading on Tuesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its sixth negative session out of the past seven.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.47 percent while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 0.37 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.53 percent.

** J.C. PENNEY CO, $12.7, down 3.5 pct (1004 ET)

J.C. Penney said activist investor Bill Ackman had resigned from the board, three years after embarking on a public and at times acrimonious campaign to turn around the struggling department store operator and less than a week after demanding the ouster of its chairman and chief executive.

** ELI LILLY AND CO, $55.82, up 4 pct (1004 ET)

The company said its experimental lung cancer drug increased patients’ survival in a late-stage trial, and it plans to file for an U.S. marketing application before the end of 2014.

** WHIRLPOOL CORP, $133.77, down 0.9 pct (1005 ET)

The home appliance maker said its Chinese unit would acquire a 51 percent stake in Hefei Rongshida Sanyo Electric Co Ltd for about 3.4 billion yuan ($552 million).

** MICROSOFT CORP, $32.44, down 0.6 pct (1005 ET)

Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded Microsoft’s stock to “hold” from “buy”, citing pricing pressure for its operating system Windows and increasing sales and marketing expenses.

“We believe the Windows headwinds are more substantial than we envisioned a few months ago, especially as it relates to potential average selling price contraction,” analysts said in a note to clients.

Stifel also removed its price target of $36 on the stock.

** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, $27.33, up 2.2 pct (1006 ET)

** XEROX CORP, $10.36, up 2 pct (1006 ET)

Citigroup analysts added Hewlett-Packard to their U.S. focus list, saying they expect the computer maker to report better-than-expected quarterly results, and to forecast current-quarter results “at least” in line with estimates. Citigroup maintained its “buy” rating on the stock.

Citigroup also upgraded printer and copier maker Xerox’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, raising its price target to $13 from $9.75.

The brokerage expects both companies to benefit next year from U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 healthcare law, dubbed “Obamacare”.

** FIRST BANCORP, $6.75, down 1.2 pct (1006 ET)

The lender said the secondary offering of 28 million shares of its common stock was priced at $6.75 per share, which represents a discount to the stock’s Monday closing. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Oaktree Capital Management are cutting their stakes in the company with this offering.

** AVANIR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.73, up 5 pct (1006 ET)

Avanir said on Monday that it signed a three-year agreement with Merck & Co to co-promote Merck’s multibillion-dollar drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes.

** YUM BRANDS INC, $72.23, down 3 pct (1009 ET)

The heat seems to be getting to KFC parent Yum Brands in China, after the fast-food chain saw China sales slide in July, with some market watchers saying a lack of focus on cooling drinks and ice cream meant diners looked elsewhere as record hot weather gripped the country.

Yum reported on Monday a much steeper-than-expected 13 percent drop in July sales at established restaurants in China as the company strives to bounce back from the double blows of a food safety scare and bird flu outbreak in its top market.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $11.09, up 3 pct (1009 ET)

The struggling smartphone maker is weighing options that could include an outright sale, it said on Monday, and its largest shareholder is stepping down from its board to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

** DIGITAL GENERATION INC, $13.39, up 30 pct (1010 ET)

Digital Generation agreed to sell its television business for $485 million to Extreme Reach Inc, a year after Reuters reported that the advertising distribution company had rejected a takeover bid by its rival.

** ORBITZ WORLDWIDE, $10.26, down 12.6 pct (1011 ET)

The online travel agency said its largest shareholder, PAR Capital Management, sold 8.1 million of its 24.6 million shares in Orbitz Worldwide.

** BLACKSTONE GROUP LP, $23.22, up 1.2 pct (1014 ET)

** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, $24.16, down 0.4 pct (1014 ET)

Blackstone is adding apartments to its portfolio of commercial real estate by agreeing to buy majority share in 80 apartment complexes from General Electric’s lending arm, a person familiar with the deal said on Monday.

** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $13.04, down 1.7 pct (1015 ET)

The Canadian miner reported a steep fall in second-quarter profit as it suspended a portion of its silver sales due to a slump in prices.

Earnings in the quarter ended June 30 fell to $0.2 million, or breakeven per share, from $15.3 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

** HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES INC, $13.21, down 0.2 pct (1015 ET)

** COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS INC, $43.20, down 1.2 pct (1015 ET)

Activist investor Glenview Capital Management said on Monday that a majority of shareholders in Health Management Associates have voted to oust the U.S. hospital chain’s board and replace it with Glenview’s slate of directors, throwing a wrench into HMA’s plans to be acquired by Community Health Systems.

** AROTECH CORP, $2.47, up 37 pct (1018 ET)

The company, which makes interactive simulation, batteries and charging systems used by the military, reported a net profit for the third consecutive quarter after eight straight quarters of losses. This indicates that the company is firmly on the road to sustainable profits.

Arotech also raised its full year revenue forecast to $87 million-$89 million from $85 million-$87 million.

** SINA CORP, $81.00, up 0.8 pct (1019 ET)

The Chinese internet company forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates and reported better-than-expected results on Monday as advertising revenue rose due to its social networking site Weibo.

“Although the macro-economic conditions in China remain uncertain, our strategy to diversify Sina’s revenue stream to beyond big-brand advertisers and to leverage Weibo’s continued traffic growth to develop social and mobile advertising...is placing Sina in a good position for more profitable revenue growth,” Chief Executive Charles Chao said in a statement.

Brokerage Brean Capital raised on Tuesday its price target on the stock to $99 from $68.

** FACEBOOK INC, $38.22, down 2.4 pct (1016 ET)

** OPENTABLE INC, $72.99, down 1.4 pct (1020 ET)

Facebook struck a deal with online restaurant booking service OpenTable that will allow users to reserve tables at restaurants via a Facebook app, as the world’s No. 1 social network continues to expand its mobile services.

** USA COMPRESSION PARTNERS LP, $24.23, down 3.9 pct (1022 ET)

The provider of natural gas compression services said it acquired 983 compression units in Texas and Oklahoma from S&R Compression LLC for about $187 million.

S&R Compression is controlled by Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser’s investment arm.

USA Compression said on Tuesday that it expects the acquisition to immediately add to its cash flow. The company raised its adjusted core earnings and distributable cash flow forecasts for the year. (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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