March 31, 2014 / 2:33 PM / in 3 years

MARKET PULSE-Prana, Nordion, UTi Worldwide, Novartis, Halozyme

(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 opened higher on Monday, putting the S&P 500on track for a second straight advance, ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.81 percent at 16,454.48, the S&P 500 was up 0.79 percent at 1,872.23 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.13 percent at 4,202.8.

** PRANA BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD, $2.94, -70.18 pct

The company said its experimental drug to treat Alzheimer's disease failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage study in patients with a mild form of the condition.

** NORDION INC, $11.56, +11.05 pct

Sterigenics, a sterilization services provider owned by private equity firm GTCR LLC, has reached a deal to buy Canadian medical isotopes supplier Nordion for $727 million.

** UTI WORLDWIDE INC, $10.42, -7.46 pct

The logistics company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by weak demand for air freight as customers opt for slower, but cheaper, modes of shipping.

** CURIS INC, $2.8, +1.82 pct

The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed it to resume testing its experimental cancer drug, lifting a November order halting enrolment in an early-stage trial.

** HALOZYME THERAPEUTICS INC, $12.62, +4.21 pct

The company said its U.S. FDA-approved drug, Hylenex, met the main goal in a trial testing its use as a pre-treatment in type 1 diabetes patients receiving continuous insulin infusions, compared to those who received no pre-treatment.

The trial's results will be part of the data used to seek an update to the Hylenex label, the company said on Monday.

** MEDTRONIC INC, $60.98, +0.94 pct

A non-surgically implanted heart valve meant to delay open heart surgery in children with congenital heart defects worked well for all but a few patients during a year of follow-up observation, in line with favorable results seen in original clinical trials of the Medtronic product.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $8.075, -3.98 pct

The company reported a smaller-than-expected loss on Friday as new chief executive John Chen slashed costs, but a 64 percent drop in revenue underscored the challenge Chen faces in turning around the struggling smartphone maker.

** YAHOO INC, $36.495, +1.66 pct

Yahoo is working on a service similar to Google Inc's YouTube, and is hoping to launch it in the next few months, technology blog Recode reported late on Friday, quoting sources close to the situation. (link.reuters.com/jyw97v)

Yahoo is working on a plan to lure some of YouTube's most popular stars and networks to show their stuff on the site, the blog said.

** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $137.05, +0.87 pct

** COMCAST CORP, $49.965, +1.28 pct

Comcast is planning to increase its share buyback plan by more than 80 percent as its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner undergoes regulatory review in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reported.

** FOREST LABORATORIES, $92.2, +0.72 pct

Hungarian drug maker Gedeon Richter and its partner Forest Laboratories announced positive top-line results from a Phase IIb trial of antipsychotic drug Cariprazine in patients with bipolar depression, the companies said in a statement on Monday.

** NOVARTIS AG, $85.01, +4.19 pct

Novartis has ended a late-stage clinical trial of a chronic heart failure drug early, following strong interim results, giving the Swiss drugmaker a boost after recent setbacks to another heart failure medicine.

** EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES CORP, $73.93, +3.89 pct

The minimally invasive aortic heart valve replacement system from Edwards Lifesciences performed better than a rival product sold by Medtronic in the first head-to-head study of the two, according to data from a small German trial presented at a major heart meeting on Sunday.

** INTEROIL CORP, $64.38, +1.53 pct

The oil and gas company reported bigger revenue for the fourth quarter, helped by its midstream refining business. Revenue rose 12 percent to $398.9 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue from the midstream refining business jumped 17 percent to $353.7 million.

** AMGEN INC, $124.32, +3.13 pct

The company's drug from a high profile new class of experimental medicines lowered "bad" LDL cholesterol by 55 percent to 66 percent compared with a placebo in a trio of late-stage clinical trials, according to data presented on Saturday. (Compiled by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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