(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) The Dow and the S&P 500 stalled after hitting record highs on Monday as investors kept their focus on economic stimulus prospects from the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.27 percent, while the S&P 500 was unchanged and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.09 percent.
** TWITTER INC, $41.37, down 6 percent (1:38 pm ET)
Shares in the social media company fell after Wunderlich Securities started the stock with a “sell rating” and a 12-month target price of $34.
** BOEING CO, $138.47, up 1.7 pct (1:50 p.m. ET)
The U.S. planemaker at the Dubai Airshow on Sunday announced commitments for a total of 259 of the new 777 jet, previously codenamed 777X, worth about $100 billion at list prices - the largest combined order in its history.
For a Factbox on orders, click
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $55.88, up 1.8 pct (1:50 p.m. ET)
The biggest U.S. bank by assets said on Friday it agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle claims by investors who lost money on mortgage-backed securities before the collapse of the U.S. housing market.
** MICROSOFT CORP, $37.38, down 1 pct (1:50 p.m. ET)
** SONY CORP, $18.85, up 2 pct
BofA Merrill downgraded Microsoft’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral”, according to the Theflyonthewall.com.
Rival Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1 million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in the first 24 hours that it was available in the United States and Canada, ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox One launch on Nov. 22.
** TYSON FOODS INC, $29.12, up 1.2 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
The largest U.S. meat processor reported a better-than-expected 28 percent rise in quarterly operating profit, helped by higher chicken sales and a rebound in its beef business, and said it expected meat production to rise in the current fiscal year.
** INTERCLOUD SYSTEMS INC, $16.20, up 72 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
Shares of the cloud and consulting services company continued their gain for the second day. The stock soared about 206 percent on Friday after the company's quarterly revenue rose five-fold to $16.2 million, helped by acquisitions and organic growth. (link.reuters.com/zuf74v)
** HARVARD APPARATUS REGENERATIVE TECH INC, $4.99, up 20 pct (11:55 a.m. ET)
A report in Boston Globe on Monday highlighted the medical device maker’s system that is being developed to reduce the risk of the body’s immune system rejecting a new transplanted organ. After an organ transplant, patients usually need to take drugs to prevent the body’s immune system from attacking the new organ.
"The trick is that Harvard Apparatus infuses the transplant tissue with a patient's own stem cells before surgery, fooling the body into believing the new organ is actually its own," the newspaper report said. (r.reuters.com/dyn74v)
** NORTHWEST BIOTHERAPEUTICS INC, $5.50, up 20 pct (12:29 p.m. ET)
A report on investment website Seeking Alpha on Friday said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the cancer drug developer to begin clinical testing for all types of solid tumor cancers was a “major statement of regulatory support.”
The report also cited "immensely positive" data from Northwest's cancer tests on animals. (r.reuters.com/nyn74v)
** SYNTA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $5.05, up 19 pct (11:02 a.m.)
The company’s Chief Executive Safi Bahcall and three directors bought shares worth about $19.50 million, according to regulatory documents filed on Friday.
A report on investment website SeekingAlpha said the stock could be a good speculative pick based on intensive insider buying. (link.reuters.com/pun74v)
** CATALYST PHARMACEUTICAL PARTNERS INC, $1.86, up 16 pct (1:35 p.m. ET)
The specialty pharmaceutical company said a medical journal had accepted a research paper on a preclinical study that showed its experimental drug had the potential to suppress a form of epilepsy in infants. The preclinical study on rats also showed that the drug was well tolerated. Catalyst also said it planned to start an early stage study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of multiple doses of the drug, known as CPP-115, in the first half of 2014.
** CHINA LIFE INSURANCE CO LTD, $45.54, up 7.2 pct (11:07 a.m. ET)
** CHINA MING YANG WIND POWER GROUP LTD, $2.55, up 7.5 pct
** CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES CORP LTD, $18.97, up 5.4 pct
** CHINA FINANCE ONLINE CO LTD, $3.10, up 12.2 pct
** KU6 MEDIA CO LTD, $2.70, up 14.8 pct (11:28 a.m. ET)
** DAQO NEW ENERGY CORP, $46, up 8 pct (12:39 p.m. ET)
** BITAUTO HOLDINGS LTD, $34.12, up 9 pct (1:00 p.m. ET)
Shares of China-based companies gained following Beijing’s announcement of its most sweeping economic and social reforms in decades. The document, released on Friday, relaxed China’s one-child policy and further frees up markets in order to put the world’s second-largest economy on a more stable footing.
** RENEWABLE ENERGY GROUP INC, $11.51, down 14 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
** GREEN PLAINS RENEWABLE ENERGY, $15.01, down 5 pct
** GEVO INC, $1.52, down 12.1 pct
** KIOR INC, $2.48, down 2.3 pct
** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP, $2.16, down 10 pct (11:32 a.m. ET)
** PENFORD CORP, $11.26, down 9 pct (12:00 p.m. ET)
Shares of biofuels makers continued their fall after the Obama administration on Friday proposed slashing federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014. Nevertheless, some biofuels producers rallied after the announcement of the proposed goal, which matched the number contained in a draft that was leaked last month.
Canaccord Genuity downgraded Renewable Energy stock to “hold” from “buy”.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $33.80, up 14.5 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS, $12.44, up 6.7 pct (12:00 p.m. ET)
** GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INC, $10.30, up 1 pct (12:00 p.m. ET)
Chinese solar panel maker Jinkosolar reported a second straight quarterly profit, helped by its fast-growing solar power plant business, amid signs of a recovery in the industry after a four-year downturn.
** TAYLOR MORRISON HOME CORP, $21.15, up 3 pct (12:28 p.m. ET)
** PUTLEGROUP INC, $18.47, up 2 pct
** TOLL BROTHERS INC, $33.69, up 1 pct
** LENNAR CORP, $34.93, up 2 pct
** KB HOME, $16.88, up 1 pct
U.S. homebuilder confidence stabilized in November after falling for two straight months, though steady home demand was tempered by worries about further fiscal battles in Washington, the National Association of Home Builders said on Monday.
** KIRKLAND‘S INC, $22.30, up 13 pct (11:31 a.m. ET)
Brokerage SunTrust Robinson Humphrey raised its rating on the specialty U.S. retailer of home decor and gifts to “buy” from “neutral”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** ON TRACK INNOVATIONS LTD, $3.24, up 13 pct (1:57 p.m. ET)
The company said it signed a partnership agreement with card maker ABnote through which ABnote will offer On Track Innovations’ WAVE device - an audio jack plug-in for smartphones, tablets and PCs - to enable wireless payment using Near Field Communication technology within ABnote’s secure mobile wallet product.
Last week, the company said it deployed its NFC payment system for a consortium of regional banks in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
** BONA FILM GROUP LTD, $5.53, down 9.7 pct (2:00 p.m. ET)
Brokerage Cowen & Co cut its rating on the company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform” and lowered its target price to $5 from $6 after the film distributor on Thursday reported third-quarter revenue below analysts’ average expectations.
** TILE SHOP HOLDINGS INC, $15.88, up 9.5 pct (1:59 p.m. ET)
Shares of the stone tile retailer continued their gains for the second day after the company said late on Thursday it suspended its relationship with supplier Beijing Pingxiu, which, according to short seller Gotham City Research, was run by the brother-in-law of Tile Shop Chief Executive Robert Rucker.
Tile Shop’s shares had plunged 46 percent on Thursday after Gotham City alleged that the company’s gross margins were inflated as it used captive suppliers such as Beijing Pingxiu to overstate inventories, understate cost of sales and overstate gross profits.
Tile Shop denied misreporting financial statements.
** BOTTOMLINE TECHNOLOGIES INC, $35.95, up 9 pct (12:31 p.m. ET)
Raymond James raised its rating on the company’s stock to “strong buy” from “outperform”. Revenue growth for the company, which makes software for banking and payment services, is expected to be driven by its Paymode-X electronic payment business and law firm invoicing service, the brokerage said.
The brokerage also raised its price target by $5 from 41.
** ATOSSA GENETICS INC, $2.29, up 8.4 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
The medical device maker said it met with the U.S. health regulator to discuss the premarket application for its medical device used to collect breast fluid, and said it had the data to file the application “as soon as possible”.
Atossa said in October that it would recall the device and the test which used it, and would submit a new application for approval.
** TERRA NITROGEN CO LP, $157.60, down 8 pct (12:05 p.m. ET)
** PROSPECT GLOBAL RESOURCES INC, $2.19, down 2 pct
The fertilizer producers’ shares fell in anticipation of lower prices for their products, after corn prices declined due to a spillover pressure from a proposal to lower the use of corn-based ethanol, analysts said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed on Friday to cut federal requirements for U.S. biofuel next year, including corn-based ethanol.
** CHIPMOS TECHNOLOGIES LTD, $18.93, up 7.74 pct (11:58 a.m. ET)
The company, which handles quality testing and packaging for chipmakers, reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit as efforts to cut costs in its LCD assembly business helped improve gross margin to 22.2 percent from 15.4 percent last year.
** STREAMLINE HEALTH SOLUTIONS INC, $7.03, down 7.4 pct (11:54 a.m. ET)
The medical software provider on Friday forecast third-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates and also disclosed plans to buy two companies to enhance its services, primarily those related to patient access, scheduling capabilities, financial and operational analytics.
Streamline, which did not reveal the names of either target companies, said it intends to pay about $6.5 million in cash upon the closing of the first deal, and about $13.75 million in a combination of cash and shares of its common stock for the second one. Streamline will fund both purchases through a public offering of 2.5 million of its common shares.
** 3D SYSTEMS CORP, $84.08, up 4.9 pct (12:53 p.m. ET)
** STRATASYS LTD, $130.93, up 4.8 pct
** EXONE CO, $63.35, up 6 pct
** VOXELJET AG, $66.91, up 13.4 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch raised its price targets on the two largest 3D printer companies, 3D Systems and Stratasys, StreetInsider.com said. (link.reuters.com/vyn74v)
The brokerage raised its price target on 3D Systems’ stock by $21 to $90, and on Stratasys’ stock by $10 from $140, while maintaining its “buy” rating on both.
Stocks of smaller rivals were also up.
** EMERGE ENERGY SERVICES LP, $42.87, up 7 pct (1:10 p.m. ET)
Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus raised their rating on the energy services company’s stock to “buy” from “hold” on Friday, citing a ramp up in production at its Barron plant, which makes sand used in stimulating oil wells.
“We continue to believe the sand operations will be the growth driver...through fiscal 2014 as it focuses on filling the capacity at its Barron facility,” analyst Selman Akyol said in a note.
** CELADON GROUP INC, $21.04, up 7 pct (12:25 p.m. ET)
The transport and logistics provider said it would buy some assets of N Yanke Transfer Ltd, which is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and had $90 million in revenue in 2012.
** CELL THERAPEUTICS INC, $1.96, up 4.8 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
The drug maker said it could spend up to $96 million through mid-2017 to develop its drug pacritinib to treat two forms of blood cancer. The company said it expects to get $67 million in cash milestone payments through 2015 from its deal with Baxter International Inc, which would offset some of its expenses.
The two companies agreed on Friday to jointly develop and market the drug in a deal that could fetch Cell Therapeutics up to $362 million.
** PRANA BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD, $5.76, up 6 pct (10:07 a.m. ET)
The Australia-based company said 29 of the 42 patients enrolled in a mid-stage study of its Alzheimer’s disease drug completed the treatment. Prana also said an independent safety monitoring committee did not suggest the trial design be changed following a final review. The company expects results from the mid-stage trial in March.
** PIONEER ENERGY SERVICES CORP, $7.61, down 5 pct (10:55 a.m. ET)
** KEY ENERGY SERVICES INC, $8.67, down 2 pct
Analysts at Global Hunter Securities lowered their rating on the onshore oilfield drilling service providers’ stocks to “neutral” from “buy”, citing lower-than-expected capital spending from oil and gas producers next year amid weak natural gas prices.
** SUPERVALU INC, $6.39, down 7 pct (1:56 p.m. ET)
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the supermarket operator’s stock to “sell” from “neutral” as it expects the company to be hurt by increased competition and higher costs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
** DIEBOLD INC, $32.38, up 5.8 percent (2:02 p.m. ET)
KeyBanc Capital Markets raised its rating on the ATM and voting machine maker to “buy” from “hold”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** IRSA INVESTMENTS & REPRESENTATIONS INC, $11.80, up 4.8 pct (1:25 p.m. ET)
The real estate company said in an SEC filing it had repurchased 13,000 Global Depository Shares at $11.92 on Friday. (r.reuters.com/cap74v)
** DARLING INTERNATIONAL INC, $20.59, down 4 pct (11:12 a.m. ET)
Wedbush Securities Inc cut its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “outperform” as it expects pricing and demand to be subdued at the company’s rendered fats business after the Obama administration on Friday proposed slashing federal requirements for U.S. biofuel use in 2014.
“Falling biodiesel demand should directly translate into weak demand and pricing in rendered fats,” Wedbush analyst Craig Irwin wrote in a note to clients.
** HORNBECK OFFSHORE SERVICES INC, $3.8, down 4 pct (11:06 a.m. ET)
Analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded the oilfield services provider’s stock to “sell” from “neutral” as the brokerage expects the company’s U.S. and Gulf of Mexico rig count to rise slower than Street expectations in 2014. The brokerage also said capacity growth of Hornbeck’s vessels is mostly unknown, which leaves increase in stock prices largely dependant on further rise in vessel dayrates.
** MAZOR ROBOTICS LTD, $17.95, down 3.7 pct (1:58 p.m. ET)
The company reported a larger-than-expected loss in the third quarter as sales of its spine surgery robot in the United States fell and its operating expenses increased.
** ALCATEL LUCENT SA, $4.04, down 3 pct (10:40 am ET)
The French telecom equipment maker confirmed the closure of its Colomiers site near Toulouse. The closure will involve the redeployment of 77 workers and 28 job cuts, the Agence France Press reported citing a trade union source.
** MECHEL OAO, $2.42, up 4.3 pct (1:58 p.m. ET)
Russian state-controlled bank VTB has agreed to join other creditors in restructuring mining group Mechel’s $9.6 billion debt, a source close to VTB said on Saturday.
** FRANKS INTERNATIONAL NV, $24.42, down 4.6 pct (11:13 a.m. ET)
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the oilfield services provider to “sell” from “neutral”. “We forecast that Franks International will have one of the lowest EBITDA growth rates in the group, so unless its premium multiples expand further, stock upside is limited,” analysts led by Waqar Syed wrote in a note to clients.
The shares, listed on Aug. 9, have lost around a quarter of their value since touching a life-high of $32.69 on Oct.18.
** RENESOLA LTD, $4.82, up 2.5 pct (1:59 p.m. ET)
The Chinese solar panel maker said it would deliver more than 178,000 panels for a 53.5 megawatt power project in Southern Texas. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.
** BLYTH INC, $12.32, up 2.6 pct (1:58 p.m. ET)
The candle maker named its chief operating officer Robert Goergen Jr as chief executive. Blyth’s founder Robert Goergen Senior will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board.
Last week, Blyth rejected an unsolicited acquisition proposal from direct seller CVSL Inc.
** NVIDIA CORP, $15.85, down 2 pct (2:00 p.m. ET)
Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the graphics chipmaker’s stock to “underweight,” saying that the stock seems to be pricing in substantial earnings improvement that is still uncertain.
The analysts also said the value of patent royalty the company got from Intel Corp through a cross-licensing agreement was less than their expectations and there was little prospect of renewal of the agreement.
** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $7.80, down 3.46 pct (2:00 p.m. ET)
Analysts at Citi Investment Research cut their rating on the coal miner’s stock to “sell” from “neutral”, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** INTERACTIVE BROKERS GROUP INC, $23.35, down 2.7 pct (2:01 p.m. ET)
Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded the online broker’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform”.
“We believe that the brokerage business is sufficiently big enough to consistently outweigh the market-making noise and FX translation issues when valuing the company and stock, but that most of this revaluation has now occurred,” the analysts said in a note to clients.
** POTASH CORP, $32.65, up 0.7 pct (2:02 p.m. ET)
** INTREPID POTASH INC, $16.82, up 2.8 pct
** MOSAIC CO, $48.76, down 0.5 pct
** AGRIUM INC, $90.29, up 0.3 pct
Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov agreed on Monday to buy Suleiman Kerimov’s 21.75 percent stake in Uralkali, the world’s largest potash miner, in a deal that seeks to calm tensions over the collapse of a sales cartel.
Shares of potash companies may react positively as investors believe that a new owner of Uralkali may lead to a resolution in the dispute between Belarus and Uralkali, UBS Investment Research analyst John Roberts said in a note before the market opened.
Global prices for the soil nutrient potash have been hit by the break up of a potash export cartel between Russian producer Uralkali and a Belarusian state company, which had accounted for 40 percent of global sales.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $32.93, up 3.1 pct (2:04 p.m. ET)
A renewable energy project fund managed by DIF will buy four solar power plants totaling 40 megawatts from Canadian Solar in Ontario, the solar company said on Monday. Construction is expected to start this year, while commercial operation from the plants is expected in 2014. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)