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The Dow industrials broke above the 17,000 milestone on Thursday and the S&P 500 came within 1 percent of piercing through 2,000 after the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest in almost six years and the American economy created many more jobs than forecast. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.19 points or 0.41 percent, to 17,045.43, the S&P 500 gained 6.12 points or 0.31 percent, to 1,980.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.81 points or 0.26 percent, to 4,469.55.
** PETSMART INC, $66.81, +11.71 pct
Hedge fund Jana Partners LLC said it planned to ask the pet products retailer to explore a sale. The activist investor reported a 9.9 percent stake in the company in a regulatory filing.
** REGADO BIOSCIENCES INC, $2.847, -57.88 pct
The drug developer stopped enrolling patients in a late-stage trial of its heart drug, saying that safety committee has started an unplanned review of data from the trial, focusing on serious adverse events related to allergic reactions
Wedbush analysts downgraded their rating on the company's stock by two notches to "underperform" and slashed the price target to $2 from $10
"We recommend that investors avoid investment in RGDO unless the DSMB review results in a conclusion that (the drug)is safe and patient dosing resumes," Wedbush analysts said.
** NQ MOBILE INC, $4.47, -33.88 pct
The Chinese mobile security software maker said its independent auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP, informed the company that it would need to expand the scope of its 2013 audit.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $11.405, -17.18 pct
The U.S. FDA placed on hold an early-stage study testing of the Canadian drug developer's experimental ebola drug in healthy volunteers
FDA has asked for an amended protocol and additional data related to higher doses of the drug, Tekmira said.
** VERSO PAPER CORP, $2.75, +20.09 pct
The coated paper maker said its units offered to convert certain notes and warrants into common stock. The company says the exchange offers are an "important step" to complete NewPage acquisition.
** REAL GOODS SOLAR INC $2.5638, -11.59 pct
The solar power producer issued units consisting of 2.9 million Class A shares and warrants to purchase up to 1.3 million additional shares of Class A common stock at $2.40 per unit
** BIND THERAPEUTICS INC, $11.49, -10.79 pct
The drug developer said it ended a partnership with Amgen to develop targeted cancer therapy due to unsatisfactory results.
** LORILLARD INC, $64.25, +5.07 pct
** REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC, $61.61, +2.41 pct
The two tobacco majors are likely to merge as early as end of July, CNBC reported, citing sources.
** AMERICAN APPAREL INC, $0.8709, +4.93 pct
The struggling retailer's ousted Chief Executive Officer Dov Charney has handed over his entire stake and voting rights in the company to Standard General LP, enabling the fund to negotiate directly with the independent directors over the company's future, two sources close to the matter said on Wednesday.
** CREE INC, $53.1, +5.55 pct
Oppenheimer upgraded the semiconductor material maker's stock to "outperform" from "perform", citing increase in LED lighting prices due to higher demand and merger activities in a "fragmented" market.
While shares have lost 24 percent of their value in the past year, analyst sentiment on the stock is improving. The mean recommendation on the company's stock has improved by 13 percent in the last three months, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** PACCAR INC, $67.5, +5.83 pct
Volkswagen denied planning a bid for the U.S. truck maker after analysts published comments in a research note from a senior executive of German rival Daimler saying he had heard of such a plan.
** SYNNEX CORP, $69.29, -6.28 pct
The hardware distributor reported lower-than-expected second quarter revenue and forecast adjusted profit below analysts' average estimate for this quarter
** LGI HOMES INC, $20.23, +4.28 pct
The homebuilder said that home closings for June rose 78.7 pct to 243 homes
** SPECTRUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $8.91, +2.18 pct
The company's drug for the treatment of an aggressive form of blood cancer was granted an accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.
** BEST BUY CO, $32.07, +2.00 pct
Moody's Investors Service changed its outlook on the electronics retailer to "stable" from "negative" late on Wednesday. The change is to reflect the company's transition to true multi-channel retailer, Moody's said.
** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD, $17.12, -1.38 pct
** SIBANYE GOLD LTD, $10.45, -4.74 pct
** YAMANA GOLD INC, $8.17, -1.45 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $7.535, -1.12 pct
Gold prices fell as dollar extended earlier gains after U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose more than expected in June
Spot gold dropped as much as 1.3 pct.
Compiled by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila