Sept 5 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:
U.S. stocks edged higher on Thursday, putting equities on track for a third straight day of gains as a flurry of economic data pointed to improving economic conditions.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34.42 points or 0.23 percent, to 14,965.29, the S&P 500 gained 4.12 points or 0.25 percent, to 1,657.2 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.591 points or 0.21 percent, to 3,656.633.
** 21VIANET GROUP INC, $14.59, up 6 pct (11:19 a.m. ET)
The China-based hosting and interconnectivity services provider said on Thursday it would buy back $10 million of its shares under its share repurchase program.
** YY INC,$41.49, up 1.4 pct (11:19 a.m. ET)
Pacific Crest initiated coverage on the social media company's stock with an "outperform" rating, saying it expects paid-music users to grow in the third quarter because of YY's partnership with Happy Boy, a singing contest show for male contestants by Hunan TV. Pacific Crest, which set a price target of $52, said the company added 140,000 new users in the second quarter.
** FASTENAL CO, $48.00, up 5 pct (11:19 a.m. ET)
The company, which sells industrial and construction supplies, reported a 2.5 percent jump in August net sales and said manufacturing customers grew by 6.1 percent and non-residential construction customers rose 7.3 percent during the month. (r.reuters.com/vek82v)
** TEREX CORP, $29.60, up 3 pct (11:39 a.m. ET)
Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on the heavy equipment maker with an "overweight" rating and a $47 price target, according to Benzinga.com.
** ICICI BANK LTD, $30.50, up 13 pct (10:11 a.m. ET)
** HDFC BANK LTD, $31.23, up 9 pct (10:13 a.m. ET)
Indian bank stocks surged on Thursday after the new Reserve Bank of India chief unveiled measures to support the ailing currency, providing a shot of confidence for investors unnerved by the country's worst economic crisis in two decades. ICICI bank was one of the most heavily traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
Some of the banking sector measures include raising foreign borrowing limit by Indian banks, push foreign banks to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries and a concessional forex swap rate to banks for attracting deposits from overseas Indians.
** J C PENNEY CO INC, $13.98, up 3.6 pct (11:38 a.m. ET)
The U.S. retailer is scrapping a line of products designed by Martha Stewart that rival Macy's Inc has claimed violated its contract with the home goods doyenne, the New York Post reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
** BAZAARVOICE INC, $9.86, down 12 pct (9:43 a.m. ET)
The consumer review aggregator forecast second-quarter revenue largely below Wall Street estimates after posting first-quarter revenue that was marginally ahead of expectations.
** GROUPON INC, $11.03, up 7 pct (9:44 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Morgan Stanley upgraded the daily deals company's stock to "overweight" from "equalweight", according to Streetinsider.com. Analyst Scott Devitt also raised his price target on the stock to $14 from $11, citing the recent turnaround in North America with the introduction of deal bank, and strength in mobile. (link.reuters.com/vej82v)
Over half of Groupon's local transactions in North America came from "deal bank" of longer-term merchant offers. In March more than 60 percent of the contracts Groupon signed with merchants were for longer-term deals, the company said in May.
The company also said about 45 percent of North American transactions came from mobile devices in March, up from about 20 percent two years ago.
** ROYAL GOLD, $55.58, down 3 pct (10:49 a.m. ET)
** HARMONY GOLD MINING, $3.89, down 2.5 pct
** SEABRIDGE GOLD, $14, down 2.7 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD, $8.47, down 3.4 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $5.86, down 3.8 pct
** SILVER WHEATON CORP, $26.02, down 2.3 pct
** HECLA MINING CO, $3.36, down 3 pct
Gold surrendered gains on Thursday to edge lower as a pledge from the European Central Bank to keep interest rates low lifted the dollar, but prices held in a narrow range ahead of U.S. jobs data on Friday.
Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,385.52 an ounce at 1401 GMT. Silver was down 0.6 percent at $23.31 an ounce.
** MITCHAM INDUSTRIES INC, $14.87, down 12 pct (11:12 a.m. ET)
The seismic equipment maker reported a surprise quarterly loss, hurt by project delays due to permiting difficulties and labor unrest as well as a decline in marine leasing activity.
** PROSPECT GLOBAL RESOURCES INC, $2.68, up 24.65 pct (11:10 a.m. ET)
The potash miner on Wednesday said its shareholders approved a 50-for-1 reverse share split of its common stock. The split, which has been effective since yesterday, gave shareholders one share for every 50 shares they held and does not change earnings per share.
** CONN'S INC, $60.59, down 11 pct (9:32 a.m. ET)
The specialty retailer of items such as home appliances and consumer electronics reported second-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates, hurt by a higher provision for bad debts in its credit business due to increased delinquency.
** ADVANCED ENERGY INDUSTRIES INC, $19.30, up 5 pct (10:20 a.m. ET)
Raymond James analysts started coverage of the company with an "outperform" rating, saying that it had emerged as one of the top global players in the solar inverter arena, with leverage to the rapidly expanding North American market, while avoiding intense commoditization across the solar panel business.
** NPS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $27.71, up 5 pct (09:31 a.m. ET)
Leerink Swann said it has an "increased bullishness" about the commercial potential of the company's experimental hypoparathyroidism treatment Natpara and raised its price target on the stock to $35 from $25.
** EXA CORP, $13.78, down 5 pct (9:45 a.m. ET)
The software maker reported lower-than-expected results for the second quarter and forecast third-quarter revenue below analysts' expectations as customers of its truck and off-highway products delayed closing deals.
** OVASCIENCE, $12.50, up 4 pct (10:06 a.m. ET)
Wedbush initiated coverage on the life sciences company, which develops new treatments for age-related infertility, with an "outperform" rating and a price target of $20. OvaScience's experimental product Augment is currently in clinical trials. The brokerage sees positive clinical data and early uptake of the product in the U.S. in early 2015 as key catalysts for the stock.
** TELECOM ITALIA SPA, $7.89, up 7.7 pct (10:43 a.m. ET)
** ALCATEL LUCENT SA, $3.10 up 2 pct (10:43 a.m. ET)
** AT&T, $33.50, down 1 pct (10:43 a.m. ET)
** ORANGE SA, $10.98, up 3 pct (10:43 a.m. ET)
Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, AT&T and America Movil have approached the core Telecom Italia investors who want to exit their unprofitable investment in the Italian group, a source familiar with the situation said. Contact is at a preliminary stage and the three players had not formally expressed an interest, the source added.
** CATALYST PHARMACEUTICAL PARTNERS INC, $1.86, down 4 pct (9:45 a.m. ET)
The specialty pharmaceutical company said it would sell 8.8 million shares of its common stock at $1.72 per share in a registered direct public offering, an 11 percent discount to the stock's closing price.
** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, $7.80, up 6 pct (10:30 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Oppenheimer raised its price target on the Taiwanese chipmaker's stock to $12 from $9 as it expects the company to benefit from the sales of Google Inc's Google Glass and other wearable electronics in 2014.
In July, Google took another step toward a commercial version of its Google Glass eyewear by buying a small stake in a unit of Himax Technologies that develops tiny displays.
** PETROBRAS ARGENTINA SA, $5.38, up 5 pct (10.24 a.m. ET)
** YACIMIENTOS PETROLÍFEROS FISCALES, $17.42, down 2 pct
Brokerage Raymond James cut its price target on the oil and gas producer's stock to $6 from $8, but maintained its "outperform" rating. The brokerage said the Argentinian company had a lower financing risk and better reserve life than its rival YPF.
Analyst Santiago Wesenack said there has been a rally in some Argentine stocks since the open primary elections (PASO) last month and PZE is now back on portfolio managers' radars. The company's shares have climbed 19 percent in the last month.
** JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC, $42.23, up 6 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)
The men's apparel and accessories retailer reported second-quarter sales slightly above analysts' estimates and said its third quarter is off to a good start as sales and comparable store sales rose in August.
** TITAN MACHINERY INC, $16.52, down 4 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)
The farm equipment retailer reported second-quarter earnings below analysts' estimates and cut its forecast for the full year as it expects demand to remain weak, given lower corn prices and a reduced harvest.
** LOUISIANA-PACIFIC CORP, $16.86, up 10 pct (9:47 a.m. ET)
The building products maker said it would buy Canadian peer Ainsworth Lumber Co Ltd for about $1.1 billion, including debt, to expand in Asia and other international markets.
** GREIF INC, $53.00, down 5 pct (9:47 a.m. ET)
The packaging products maker reported third-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates and said it expects its rigid industrial packaging business to remain weak.
** ENVIVIO INC, $3.50, up 25 pct (9:48 a.m. ET)
The video delivery company reported second-quarter results above expectations, driven by large orders from two tier 1 North American cable customers, one of which was a new customer.
The company got 30.2 percent of its revenue in the quarter from the new tier 1 U.S. cable customer.
Sweden's SKF, the world's biggest bearings maker, said on Thursday it had agreed to buy U.S.-based Kaydon Corporation in an all-cash $1.25 billion deal. SKF, which competes with U.S. group Timken TKR.N and Germany's Schaeffler AG, said the deal included $95 million of net debt and would be paid with cash on hand, boosting the group's earnings in the first year after the transaction.
** SMITHFIELD FOODS INC, $35.52, up 23 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)
The U.S. government is unlikely to block Chinese meat company Shuanghui International's $4.7 billion deal to buy Smithfield Foods on national security grounds, one person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
** POZEN INC, $5.80, up 10 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)
Under an agreement worth up to $35 million, the U.S. drugmaker granted France-based Sanofi a license to exclusively market two tablets it is developing to prevent cardiovascular disease in patients at risk for aspirin-associated gastric ulcers. A marketing application for the drug was accepted for approval by U.S. health regulators in May 2013, Pozen said late Wednesday.
** CHELSEA THERAPEUTICS INC, $3.18, up 4 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledged receipt of Chelsea's marketing application for its hypotension drug Northera and scheduled Feb. 14, 2014, as the review date for the product, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.
** UMB FINANCIAL CORP, $58.24, down 2.4 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)
The financial services company said a single asset servicing client is expected to migrate about $1.08 billion in deposits to another depository institution. The client's deposits represents about 7.42 percent of its total deposits and if all of funding were replaced in near term, earnings per share in 2014 could decline by 4 cents to 9 cents, the company said in a filing.
Compiled by Varun Aggarwal