(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s,for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as a partial government shutdown in Washington entered a second day, adding to concerns over how soon a political compromise would be reached. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.35 percent, the S&P 500 was down 0.43 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.65 percent.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $51.96 (9:30 a.m. ET)
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $13.84, down 0.5 pct
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $158.22, down 0.5 pct
** CITIGROUP INC, $48.60, down 0.5 pct
** MORGAN STANLEY, $26.93, down 1 pct
As the partial government shutdown in Washington entered a second day, adding to concerns about when the issue might be resolved, the banking sector tied to the pace of economic growth, remained most volatile amid uncertainty.
** JC PENNEY CO INC, $8.67, down 1 pct (9:34 a.m. ET)
A shareholder on Tuesday sued the struggling retailer over its surprise decision to issue more than $810 million of stock to shore up liquidity, which led to a steep drop in its share price.
** APPLE INC, $484.63, down 1 pct (9:35 a.m. ET)
The company will be unable to widely roll out a new version of the iPad Mini with a high-resolution “retina” display this month, people who work in the company’s supply chain said, leaving the gadget without the sharper screen found on rival tablets from Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
** TESLA MOTORS INC, $188.85, down 2 pct (9:34 a.m. ET)
Robert W. Baird & Co downgraded the stock of the electric vehicle maker to “neutral” from “outperform”. Baird said Tesla’s plans for the next 18 months included increasing production and introduction of the Model X.
“Any hiccups in execution present stock price risk in the near to intermediate term,” the brokerage said.
** ALCOA INC, $7.96, down 2.5 pct (9:36 a.m. ET)
Deutsche Bank lowered its rating on the company’s stock to “sell,” saying lower aluminum prices over the last two quarters does not bode well for the company’s primary metals unit that accounts for more than 40 percent of its total revenue.
** TOWER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD, $8.00, up 8 pct (9:37 a.m. ET)
The insurer said it has entered into reinsurance agreements with Arch Reinsurance, Hannover Re and Southport Re to enhance its financial flexibility.
** GLOBAL PAYMENTS INC, $54.58, up 7.5 pct (9:37 a.m. ET)
At least six brokerages raised their price targets on the electronic payment processor’s stock after the company reported better-than-expected results due to higher revenue in North America and Europe.
Janney also upgraded its rating.
** MOLYCORP INC, $7.02, up 5.25 pct (9:37 a.m. ET)
The rare earth oxide producer said full-scale commissioning operations have started in its chloralkali plant at Mountain Pass, California. The company also said the final unit of its multi-stage cracking plant at Mountain Pass is now mechanically complete and is being commissioned.
** BURLINGTON STORES INC, $23.15, up 36 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)
Shares of the discount retailer rose as much as 39 percent in their market debut, valuing the Bain Capital-backed company at about $1.69 billion.
** FONAR CORP, $7.39, up 23 pct (09:50 a.m. ET)
The maker of magnetic resonance scanners said net income for fiscal 2013 jumped 49 percent to $10.3 million from a year earlier. Revenue rose 25 percent to $49.1 million.
** STAR BULK CARRIERS CORP, $8.97, down 12 pct (9:48 a.m. ET)
The dry bulk shipper on Wednesday priced a public offering of 7 million shares at $8.80 per share, a discount of about 14 percent to its Tuesday close on the Nasdaq.
** ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC, $12.71, up 11 pct (9:41 a.m. ET)
The biopharmaceutical company said data from late-stage studies of Triferic, its experimental drug to treat iron replacement in dialysis patients, has been accepted for presentation at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week 2013 to be held Nov. 7-10 in Atlanta, Georgia.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $18.39, up 2 pct (9:39 a.m. ET)
Analysts at Deutsche Bank have raised their rating on the Toronto-based gold miner to “buy” from “hold”, citing the company’s steps to cut costs and narrow its portfolio to increase free cash flow.
** MONSANTO CORP, $102.66, down 2.2 pct (9:40 a.m. ET)
The world’s largest seed company reported a larger loss in its fourth quarter on Wednesday as seed sales slipped, but total sales rose and the company said it was positioned for strong growth in 2014.
** US AIRWAYS GROUP INC, $20.00, up 1.5 pct (9:43 a.m. ET)
** AMR CORP, $4.55, up 2.3 pct
The U.S. Department of Justice, fighting a proposed merger of US Airways Group and American Airlines parent AMR Corp, lost a bid to delay the case on Tuesday, and share prices for both companies jumped on perceptions that prospects for the deal had brightened.
In Dallas, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said his state was dropping out of a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit seeking to block the merger, a move some experts called a crack in the united front of those opposing the creation of the world’s largest airline. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)