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(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.
** 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.
** 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.
** ZOGENIX INC, $2.26, up 16 pct (10:07 a.m. ET)
The drugmaker said the U.S. health regulator has reconfirmed that there are no deficiencies in the application submitted by the company to approve its painkiller, Zohydro. The company also said the agency will delay its decision on the approval due to the recent government shutdown.
** 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.
** LCA VISION INC, $3.96, up 11.5 pct (09:41 a.m. ET)
The maker of laser vision correction services reported a 4 percent rise in total procedures performed to 11,932 procedures in the third quarter, from a year earlier.
** 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.
** 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.
** OSIRIS THERAPEUTICS INC, $17.63, up 5 pct (09:40 a.m. ET)
Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the stem cell products maker to "overweight" from "neutral", according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** PACIFIC ETHANOL INC, $3.72, up 4.4 pct (10:06 a.m. ET)
The renewable fuels producer said it entered into an agreement to purchase surplus raw beet sugar for use as feedstock for ethanol, helping it significantly cut raw material costs. The company did not specify the purchase price, but said it was at a substantial discount to current costs of corn, another feedstock for ethanol.
** TEEKAY LNG PARTNERS LP, $42.23, down 4.6 pct (10:13 a.m. ET)
The shipping company priced its offering of 3 million units at $42.62 per unit, a discount of about 4 percent to the stock's Tuesday close on the New York Stock Exchange. Teekay said it would used the proceeds to fund vessel purchases and repay debt.
** MEMORIAL PRODUCTION PARTNERS LP, $20.11, down 4 pct (10:15 a.m. ET)
The oil and gas company said it has started offering 14.5 million shares, representing limited partner interests. The proceeds from the sale would be used to repay debt, the company said.
** 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 deeper quarterly loss on Wednesday as seed sales slipped, and its 2014 profit forecast fell short of Wall Street estimates.
** 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)