(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 rose on Monday, rebounding from the previous session's decline, amid a flurry of merger and acquisition activities in the pharmaceutical sector. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.33 percent at 16,415.02, the S&P 500 was up 0.03 percent at 1,863.95 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.56 percent at 4,052.913.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $15.1, -5.33 pct
The bank said it would suspend its $4-billion stock buyback program and a planned increase in its quarterly dividend because it miscalculated the level of its capital after buying Merrill Lynch in 2009. The restatement means that the bank holds less capital than previously estimated.
** FOREST LABORATORIES INC, $89.13, -0.79 pct
** FURIEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $103.1, +28.63 pct
Forest Laboratories said it would buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals for up to $1.46 billion, including milestone payments, to add a promising treatment for irritable bowel syndrome to its gastrointestinal drugs portfolio.
** POZEN INC, $8.15, -10.73 pct
U.S. health regulators denied approval for the company’s experimental pain medication citing deficiencies at the manufacturing facility of an active ingredient supplier.
** AGENUS INC, $3.0523, +19.23 pct
The biotechnology company said it signed a deal with Merck & Co Inc to discover and develop antibody-based treatments against cancer using Agenus technology. The company said it would discover antibodies against two molecular targets identified by Merck, which can be used by cancer cells as a defense against immune cells. Merck will develop and market the treatments under the agreement, Agenus said.
Agenus also said it was eligible to receive about $100 million in milestone payments from Merck, and receive royalty payments on worldwide product sales.
** SOHU.COM INC, $54.12, -6.69 pct
** CHANGYOU.COM LTD, $26.22, -1.61 pct
** NQ MOBILE INC, $11.98, -9.45 pct
** QIHOO 360 TECHNOLOGY CO LTD, $83.1, -6.93 pct
** YOKU TUDOU INC, $22.02, -8.78 pct
** WEIBO CORP, $17.21, -10.41 pct
** BAIDU INC, $152.25, -6.54 pct
** YY INC, $57.09, -9.68 pct
** VIPSHOP HOLDINGS, $132.77, -6.89 pct
Chinese internet stocks fell after the Chinese government ordered the removal of four U.S. television shows - The Big Bang Theory, The Practice, The Good Wife and NCIS - from video websites such as Sohu.com, Youku.com, Baidu’s iQiyi and Tencent Video during the weekend.
Authorities last week also stepped up their battle against pornography, revoking some online publication licenses of one of China’s largest Internet firms, Sina Corp, for allowing “lewd and pornographic” content.
Separately, Sohu reported quarterly profit that missed analysts’ average estimate, as it incurred marketing expenses at its gaming unit Changyou.com. Sohu also forecast a worse-than-expected adjusted loss for the second quarter.
** WALTER ENERGY INC, $7.26, -2.16 pct
Clarkson Capital Markets cut its price target on the U.S. coal miner’s stock to $9 from $15 after the company agreed to issue 3.15 million shares on Friday to repay debt.
Analysts cut their rating on the company to “market perform” from “outperform,” after Walter left the door open for more offerings. The analysts said such share offer would cause further equity dilution, jeopardizing the company’s $250-million asset sale plan.
** VALE SA, $13.39, -0.89 pct
The world’s biggest iron-ore producer said the Republic of Guinea had canceled its iron-ore mining licenses for the Simandou and Zogota assets that the miner jointly held with BSG Resources Ltd.
** TRINITY BIOTECH PLC,$24.75, +7.80 pct
Shares of the Irish diagnostic tests maker rose after a report published on Barron's website on Saturday said the company was poised to gain from growing sales of its diabetes testing instrument. (link.reuters.com/keg88v)
The reports said the company’s heart attack detection test would enjoy a competitive advantage over other point-of-care tests in the market, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA approval could also position the company as an acquisition target, the report said.
** KNIGHTSBRIDGE TANKERS LTD, $12, -9.98 pct
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $2.96, -7.50 pct
** DRYSHIPS INC, $2.98, -4.18 pct
** GLOBUS MARITIME LTD, $3.75, -6.48 pct
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell 6 points, or 0.62 percent on Monday, to 961 points. The overall index factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels. The Baltic’s capesize index fell 1.65 percent.
** NORTHSTAR REALTY FINANCE CORP, $17.55, +9.48 pct
** AMERICAN REALTY CAPITAL PROPERTIES INC, $12.85, -1.23 pct
American Realty Capital Properties is in talks to buy NorthStar Realty Finance Corp, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would combine a major property owner with a real estate financing company.
** GW PHARMACEUTICALS PLC, $64.5, +3.83 pct
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track status to the U.K.-based company’s cannabis-based spray, Sativex, being studied as a treatment for pain in patients with advanced cancer.
Sativex, which is being developed in the United States in collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, is currently in a late-stage trial for the cancer pain indication. .
A fast track designation by the U.S. FDA speeds up regulatory review of drugs that aim to treat serious diseases and fill unmet medical needs.
** MEDIA GENERAL INC, $15.26, +1.13 pct
The broadcasting company reported a 16 percent rise in first-quarter net operating revenue and said it had identified an additional $10 million of operating synergies as a result of its merger with New Young Broadcasting Holding Co Inc.
Media General also said it expected its $1.6 billion acquisition of LIN Media LLC to close in early 2015, subject to approvals.
** OCH-ZIFF CAPITAL MANAGEMENT GROUP LLC, $11.77, -8.97 pct
The asset management company is under scrutiny from U.S. authorities over allegations that it helped finance controversial African oil and mining deals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing corporate documents. The company disclosed in a March filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department are investigating investments by some of its funds "in a number of companies in Africa" under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related laws. (r.reuters.com/wez78v)
** NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO INC, $78.06, -6.48 pct
The company’s first-quarter orders fell by about 23 percent and it said it expected demand for new offshore rigs to slow during the second half of the year.
** GALENA BIOPHARMA INC, $2.35, +2.62 pct
The drug developer said the U.S. Department of Defense would fund an investigator-sponsored study of the company’s experimental breast cancer drug as a treatment to prevent recurrence in high-risk patients with a form of the disease. Galena said it would support the study, which is expected to begin in the second half of the year, with funding and drug supplies.
** NEW ORIENTAL EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY GROUP INC, $23.64, -9.01 pct
The China-based private educational services provider forecast fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ average estimate after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.
** AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO, $54.37, +1.85 pct
Analysts at several brokerages raised their price targets on the power company’s stock, citing its increased earnings forecast and capital expenditure for transmission projects for 2014. The company on Friday raised its 2014 earnings forecast to between $3.35 and $3.55 per share, from $3.20 to $3.40 per share.
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $24.7, -6.62 pct
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $17.49, -2.24 pct
Newmont Mining said it had terminated merger talks with Barrick Gold, slamming its suitor and stating bluntly that talks failed due to the lack of a constructive, mutually respectful dialogue.
** TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD, $49.27, +1.19 pct
** ONCOGENEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.369, -54.96 pct
Teva Pharmaceutical and OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals said their prostate cancer treatment failed to show improvement over standard chemotherapy in a late-stage trial.
** PRECISION DRILLING CORP, $12.61, +0.40 pct
Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling contractor raised its full-year capital spending plan for the second time in over a month, citing strong demand for its new rigs.
** ATHERSYS INC, $1.1801, -56.77 pct
Athersys said its experimental stem-cell therapy for treating an inflammatory bowel disease failed to show any meaningful benefit in early results from a trial, sending its shares plunging before the bell.
** ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS LP, $54.81, -1.77 pct
** SUSSER HOLDINGS CORP, $77.57, +36.02 pct
The owner of gasoline retailer Sunoco Inc said it would buy Susser Holdings Corp in a deal valued at $1.8 billion to create a standalone retailing business.
** CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS INC, $139.03, +6.94 pct
The No. 4 U.S. cable company reported a 15 percent jump in first-quarter revenue due to a rise in the number of residential video subscribers.
** COMCAST CORP, $51.505, +1.05 pct
** TIME WARNER CABLE INC, $140.62, +0.87 pct
Comcast Corp offered to sell 1.4 million pay TV subscribers to Charter Communications Inc for $7.3 billion, as part of a wider transaction aimed at winning regulatory approval for its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.
** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, $21.76, -2.86 pct
Wall Street's self-funded regulator is investigating the discount brokerage firm's history of stock order executions, leading to suspicions of rigged markets and high-frequency front-running, the New York Post reported on Sunday, citing sources. The Financial Regulatory Authority (Finra) is looking into whether its clients received the best pricing on their purchases, the New York Post added. (link.reuters.com/gud88v)
** PFIZER INC, $31.62, +2.83 pct
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, $77.58, +12.99 pct
The U.S. drugmaker is working on its next move in a potential $100-billion-bid battle for Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc after having two bids rejected, as deal-making grips the healthcare industry.
** MYLAN INC, $49.26, -5.45 pct
Swedish drugmaker Meda has rejected an improved takeover offer from the U.S. generics firm, saying it was confident in its future as an independent company and its biggest shareholder did not support the bid. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)