(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. stock indexes barely moved on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares higher after eight straight weeks of gains, despite data pointing to stronger growth in manufacturing and construction spending. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.06 percent at 16,076.33, the S&P 500 was up 0.17 percent at 1,808.85 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.05 percent at 4,057.905.
** EBAY INC, $51.55, +2.04 pct
** AMAZON.COM INC, $393.448, -0.04 pct
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $62.54, -1.56 pct
** BEST BUY CO INC, $41.35, +1.97 pct
** TARGET CORP, $63.05, -1.38 pct
** J.C. PENNEY CO, $10.01, -1.77 pct
ComScore Inc, an analytics firm, said U.S. online sales rose 17.3 percent on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, outpacing sales growth at brick-and-mortar stores. The most visited e-commerce sites in order were those of Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Best Buy and Target, comScore said.
Heavy discounting took a toll on U.S. retail sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers spent almost 3 percent less than they did a year earlier, comScore said.
Separately, SunTrust Robinson raised eBay’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying the stock was a better buy for investors after it declined 15 percent from its high in April. SunTrust analysts, citing ChannelAdvisor data, said eBay was likely to have a good fourth quarter as the company was enjoying a strong holiday season.
** BOS BETTER ONLINE SOL USA, $9.73, +120.63 pct
The Israel-based provider of radio frequency identification chips reported a profit of 19 cents per share for the third quarter compared with a loss of 4 cents per share a year earlier. The company’s revenue rose 16 percent. BOS said it expected to end 2013 with a net profit on an adjusted basis.
** FOREST LABORATORIES INC, $54.66, +6.53 pct
** MERCK & CO, $50.13, +0.60 pct
The specialty drugmaker which is facing patent expirations on several of its biggest drugs, said it planned to buy rights to a new schizophrenia drug from Merck and cut its annual operating costs by $500 million in 2016.
** GROUPON INC, $8.61, -4.86 pct
Goldman Sachs downgraded the online deal company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” citing execution issues at the company that resulted in the departure of the chief executive, an unexpected slowdown in the local deals business, and email changes at Google and before that at Facebook affecting usage.
** SPRINT CORP, $8.24, -1.79 pct
Macquarie downgraded the telecom company's stock to "neutral" from "outperform," according to StreetInsider.com. (r.reuters.com/fyd25v)
** WEBMD HEALTH CORP, $40.48, +4.68 pct
Goldman Sachs raised the health information provider’s stock to “neutral” from “sell,” citing recent signs that the company is beginning to monetize its mobile inventory with higher-value pharma advertisers. “While we continue to be concerned about near term declines on desktop and risk associated with the transition to mobile, we raise our estimates to reflect revenue and gross margin improvements from mobile monetization,” Goldman analysts wrote in a note.
Goldman raised its price target on the stock to $36 from $28.
** MARKETO INC, $30.58, +5.09 pct
Goldman Sachs raised the enterprise software maker's stock to "conviction buy", according to StreetInsider.com. (link.reuters.com/cud25v)
** GOGO INC, $29.85, +11.92 pct
The provider of in-flight Internet said it received a key certification to install its satellite technology on Boeing’s 747-400 aircraft, and that it planned to offer Internet access on the aircraft by the first quarter of 2014.
** DIGITAL ALLY INC, $8.5, +8.42 pct
The maker of surveillance products for law enforcement agencies said it received an initial order for 100 video recorders from Kansas City Transportation Group.
** COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INC, $18.49, -16.82 pct
Oil drillers hoping pre-salt discoveries in west African waters may match the prolific finds beneath similar deposits off Brazil got a lift on Monday from the drilling results of the Lontra 1 well offshore Angola.
Cobalt said the drill stem test results were “exceptional, with excellent quality reservoirs that are better than we had expected”.
** DURATA THERAPEUTICS INC, $11.33, -8.04 pct
Wedbush cut its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “outperform,” citing the litigation between drugmakers Hospira Inc and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc over Hospira’s intent to make a generic version of Cubist’s antibiotic Cubicin.
Wedbush said it saw the litigation and any potential settlement between Cubist and Hospira as a “significant overhang” on the long-term value of the serious gram-positive antibiotic marketplace, in which Durata’s dalbavancin would compete. Durata is currently awaiting marketing approval for its antibiotic dalbavancin.
** PALO ALTO NETWORKS INC, $49.75, -0.40 pct
Raymond James downgraded the network security provider’s stock to “outperform” from “strong buy” and cut its price target to $56 from $63.
** MYRIAD GENETICS INC, $25.81, -13.24 pct
Genetic diagnostics company Invitae Corp filed a suit against Myriad, saying certain patents held by the company relating to the BRCA1/2 and MUTYH genes are invalid and are not infringed by Invitae.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring DNA and the information it encodes cannot be patented.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, $40.23, +3.00 pct
** OLIN CORP, $26.36, +6.16 pct
** AXIALL CORP, $49.89, +10.13 pct
** WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORP, $115.54, +2.63 pct
Dow said it would shut about 800,000 tons of chlorine and caustic equivalent capacity in Freeport, Texas. The capacity being shut down will be replaced with supply from new facilities that will come online in early 2014 as the company’s chloralkali joint venture with Mitsui & Co starts.
“The announcement lifts a major overhang on the chloralkali industry and respective players, as the potential of overcapacity has kept many investors concerned over the future supply/demand balance,” Wells Fargo analyst Frank Mitsch said.
** FREESEAS INC, $1.52, -17.39 pct
The company, which transports dry bulk cargo, announced a one-for-five reverse stock split. FreeSeas has nearly 19 million common shares outstanding.
The company, whose shares have lost more than three-quarters of their value over the past year, had a one-for-ten reverse stock split in February. The stock traded at more than $70 last year.
** TRULIA INC, $31.93, -7.02 pct
Goldman Sachs downgraded the real estate search provider’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” saying that the macro housing environment is becoming less of a tailwind and the company is losing users of its mobile applications to rival Zillow.
** OPENTABLE INC, $79.91, -4.38 pct
Goldman Sachs downgraded the online restaurant reservation service provider’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” saying the company’s growth potential in the short term is reflected in the stock.
** FAIRCHILD SEMICONDUCTOR INTERNATIONAL INC, $12.4, -2.59 pct
Raymond James cut its rating on the chipmaker’s stock to “market perform” from “strong buy,” saying the company is likely to perform in line with peers, and not outperform them, as it undergoes changes such as a product revamp and restructuring.
** 3M CO, $129.06, -3.33 pct
Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock of the maker of post-its and automobile films to “underweight” from “equal weight,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** PETROBRAS, $14.07, -11.73 pct
The Brazilian state-run oil company said on Friday that it would raise the wholesale price of gasoline by 4 percent and diesel by 8 percent to cut losses and bring domestic fuel costs closer to international levels.
** MONSTER BEVERAGE CORP, $59.68, +0.84 pct
J.P. Morgan Securities raised its rating on the energy drink maker’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral,” saying revenue growth should return to double digits, while margin benefits should lead to 40 percent earnings per share growth from 2013 to 2015. The brokerage also raised its price target on the stock to $74 from $70.
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $6.215, -9.00 pct
The drugmaker focused on the treatment of obesity said it intended to offer $100 million in convertible senior notes in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers. The proceeds from the offering will be used for working capital needs and general corporate purposes, Orexigen said in a statement.
** MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP, $87.32, +5.54 pct
Deutsche Bank analysts raised their rating on the U.S. refining company’s stock to “buy” from “hold,” citing its exposure to discounted crude and its strong product export portfolio. Analysts said they saw excellent fourth-quarter refining margins in the United States for U.S. refiners.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, $16.45, +1.11 pct
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $33.92, -1.05 pct
** AEROPOSTALE INC, $9.93, -3.78 pct
Janney Capital Markets raised its rating on teen apparel retailer American Eagle’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” saying the company is better positioned in fashion and value than are Aeropostale and Abercrombie.
The brokerage also cited the potential for positive inventory and a stabilizing promotional environment as the sector gets inventory under control for the second half of 2014 as reasons for the upgrade.
** BIOGEN IDEC INC, $294.89, +1.35 pct
The drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would extend by three months its deadline for reviewing the company’s experimental long-acting medicine for hemophilia.
** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, $44.53, -0.42 pct
The company, whose products help move content quickly over the Internet, said it would buy cloud-based cyber security provider Prolexic Technologies Inc for about $370 million to better defend its internet content delivery services from hacker attacks.
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $24.03, -3.22 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $3.66, -6.87 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $5.733, -6.17 pct
Gold touched a one-week low on Monday as the dollar rose and investors awaited a series of U.S. data later in the week for clues on when the Federal Reserve will begin withdrawing its monetary stimulus. Spot gold fell as much as 1.5 percent in earlier trade and was down 1.2 percent by 1318 GMT.
** CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORP, $72.35, +1.01 pct
Shares of the credit card issuer could jump 40 percent in the next three years, according to a report in financial weekly Barron’s on Sunday.
The report cites the stock’s recent underperformance, low valuation, an attractive outlook for dividends, its stock buyback and a plan to aggressively cut costs.
** ROCKWOOD HOLDINGS INC, $72.85, +6.41 pct
The U.S. chemical maker said it acquired a 49 percent stake in Perth-based miner Talison Lithium Pty Ltd through its joint venture with China’s Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group. Rockwood bid for Talison last year but lost out to Tianqi, which bought Talison for about C$848 million ($801 million).
Rockwood will contribute $196 million to the venture and provide a two-year secured loan of up to $670 million. The company will also grant Tianqi a three-year call option to invest 20-30 percent in the European arm of Rockwood’s global lithium business.
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $30.9, +5.14 pct
The Chinese solar panel maker said it signed an agreement with the government of Lingwu City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, to develop a 200 megawatt (MW) ground-mounted photovoltaic power plant. JinkoSolar said the investment related to the project is expected to be about 4.6 billion yuan ($754.94 million).
JinkoSolar, whose shares have risen nearly seven-fold this year, has 105 MW of projects connected to grids.
** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, $38.6, +1.02 pct
Raymond James raised its rating on shares of Rackspace, which runs server farms that lease online storage space to companies, to “outperform” from “market perform,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** FOSTER WHEELER AG, $31.75, +4.68 pct
British oil services group Petrofac Ltd is not interested in acquiring the Swiss-based engineering company, a source familiar with the UK company said on Sunday. Britain’s Sunday Times reported that Petrofac had entered the race to buy Foster Wheeler, setting up a possible bid battle against Britain’s Amec PLC for the $3 billion Nasdaq-listed company.
$1 = 1.06 Canadian dollars $1 = 6.09 Chinese yuan Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey