(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 at the open on Wednesday, on the heels of the biggest drop in the S&P 500 since mid-April, as earnings season winds down and ahead of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 77.23 points, or 0.47 percent, to 16,478.25, the S&P 500 gained 6.26 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,873.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.104 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,082.863.
** WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC, $37.73, -21.31 pct
The company cut its 2014 same-store sales and earnings forecast for the third time amid rising competition in the natural and organic grocery sector that it dominates.
** CORCEPT THERAPEUTICS INC, $2.025, -49.63 pct
The company said it would stop a late-stage trial of its drug for depression after an interim analysis suggested the study was unlikely to be successful.
** MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL INC, $37.91, +7.64 pct
Mondelez and Dutch coffee and tea company D.E Master Blenders 1753 BV said on Wednesday they would combine their coffee businesses, as the U.S. company focuses on snacks such as Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies.
** OCLARO, $1.65, -37.97 pct
The company, which makes components used in optical fiber communication networks, reported a bigger-than-expected third-quarter loss, hurt by lower margins.
** PEGASYSTEMS INC, $19.116, +14.88 pct
The company, which provides customer and business management software, reported a better-than-expected adjusted first-quarter profit, helped by strong software license growth.
The company also said it acquired Bangalore, India-based MeshLabs Software Private Ltd, which makes social media and test analytics software.
** AOL INC, $35.67, -18.75 pct
AOL reported a rise in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday, boosted by a surge in advertising sales through its automated electronic exchange, but profit fell.
** GNC HOLDINGS INC, $37.99, -12.97 pct
The health supplements retailer on Tuesday reported first-quarter results that fell short of analysts’ estimates as extreme cold weather in parts of the United States hit same-store sales.
The company also cut its earnings forecast for the year.
** COGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS CORP, $46.47, -5.55 pct
The technology outsourcing company forecast revenue of $2.50 billion to $2.53 billion for the second quarter, slightly below the average analyst estimate of $2.54 billion.
** ELECTRONIC ARTS INC, $32.71, +16.61 pct
** ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC, $20.27, +4.97 pct
The two video game publishers posted quarterly profit and revenue that beat expectations on Tuesday, sparking a rally in their shares
** AEGERION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $31.89, -27.79 pct
The company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by an ongoing anti-corruption investigation in Brazil that impacted sales of its cholesterol-lowering drug, Juxtapid.
It also lowered its full-year net product sales outlook.
Deutsche Bank, which lowered its price target on the company’s stock to $70 from $115, said it would take “a couple of good quarters to turn investor sentiment back to positive”.
At least 4 other brokerages cut their price targets on the Aegerion stock.
** TRIMBLE NAVIGATION LTD, $32.8, -14.07 pct
The navigation software maker quarterly profit missed analysts’ expectations as a severe winter in North America hurt sales of its agriculture-related products.
** FIREEYE INC, $27.312, -26.44 pct
The cybersecurity company forecast a bigger loss this year as it spends more on developing new products.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $8.48, +4.82 pct
UBS upgraded the stock of the department store operator to “neutral” from “sell”.
** WALT DISNEY CO, $80.9, -0.16 pct
The media company reported a higher profit that beat Wall Street expectations for the quarter ended in March, boosted by the continued strength of its blockbuster animated film “Frozen.”
** PFIZER INC, $29.08, -0.31 pct
Britain could use its public interest powers to intervene in U.S. drugmaker Pfizer’s $106 billion takeover bid for British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Business Secretary Vince Cable said.
Separately, Pfizer sought to allay fears that its proposed takeover of AstraZenecawould deal a blow to drug research, saying the new company would bolster innovative science and speed the development of new treatments.
** HSBC HOLDINGS PLC, $50.56, -1.35 pct
The bank’s first quarter profits fell 20 percent from a year ago to $6.8 billion as revenue dipped at its investment bank, while last year’s earnings were swelled by asset sales.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $28.52, +0.60 pct
The second largest U.S. producer of natural gas reported a sharply higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by higher prices.
** ENCANA CORP, $23.61, +4.56 pct
Canada’s largest natural gas producer said it would buy $3.1 billion of assets in the oil-rich Eagle Ford shale basin in south Texas from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc FCX.N.
** ALLSTATE CORP, $57.55, +1.73 pct
The largest listed U.S. home and auto insurer reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it earned higher insurance premiums across its businesses.
** CENTRAL EUROPEAN MEDIA ENTERPRISES, $2.84, +5.97 pct
The broadcaster narrowed its loss in the first quarter, boosted by higher revenue after advertisers in its biggest market the Czech Republic returned following a price reduction.
** HYDROGENICS CORP, $18.9501, -11.61 pct
The Canadian fuel cell maker reported a bigger first-quarter loss, hurt by higher expenses and lower sales.
** DEVON ENERGY CORP, $69.42, -1.10 pct
** CIMAREX ENERGY CO, $128.28, +6.90 pct
Devon Energy said on Tuesday it acquired 50,000 acres and some production in the Cana-Woodford Shale in Oklahoma for $249 million in cash from Cimarex Energy.
** TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORP, $30.47, -1.55 pct
** CHARLES SCHWAB CORP, $25.33, -1.90 pct
** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, $21, -2.64 pct
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sent out subpoenas and demands for records to brokerage companies as part of a probe into how retail customers’ orders are routed, executed and filled, according to several people familiar with the matter.
** JIVE SOFTWARE INC, $7.844, +6.43 pct
The social media software maker reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss on Tuesday and forecast higher revenue and a smaller loss for 2014.
** ARRIS GROUP INC, $28.79, +11.94 pct
At least six brokerages raised their price targets on the video and broadband products maker’s stock after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Tuesday.
** DATALINK CORP, $9.7701, -23.25 pct
The company, which provides datacenter management services, reported worse-than-expected quarterly results due to a delay in closing of orders. The company said it expects the orders to materialize later this year.
Datalink also forecast second-quarter adjusted profit and revenue below analysts’ estimates.
** VITAMIN SHOPPE INC, $45.79, +1.80 pct
The nutritional products retailer reported better-than-expected first-quarter sales, driven by a 3.6 percent rise in total comparable store sales.
** SABRA HEALTH CARE REIT INC, $28.71, -3.04 pct
The company said its common stock offering of 7 million shares is priced at $28.35 per share, a discount of 4 percent to the stock’s closing on Tuesday.
Sabra intends to use part of the net proceeds from the offering to fund potential acquisitions and repay certain outstanding debt.
** NAM TAI PROPERTY INC, $6.76, +0.75 pct
The Chinese property developer said it would buy back up to $40 million in stock at prevailing market prices. The repurchase program is expected to end around Nov. 30.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $27.395, +1.50 pct
The solar company estimated higher module shipments for the first quarter on Wednesday. The company now expects to ship 490-500 megawatts, up from its previous forecast of 470-490 MW. Canadian Solar is scheduled to report first quarter results on May 16.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO, $32.1, -0.09 pct
The company said it plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years to develop and offer cloud-computing products and services.
** B/E AEROSPACE, $96.66, -1.35 pct
The company, which made a surprise announcement of reviewing strategic alternatives on Sunday, is actively engaging in early stage conversations with potential buyers but is not in advanced talks with any company, according to people familiar with the matter.
** HUMANA INC, $110.02, +0.21 pct
The managed care company said it expects to add more customers to its Medicare Advantage plans in 2014 despite government cuts to funding and that its individual business will grow through new Obamacare plans.
** TALISMAN ENERGY INC, $10.39, +1.76 pct
Canada’s No.5 independent oil and gas producer posted a first-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, as oil and natural gas liquids production in North America soared 45 percent.
** HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC, $72.1, -1.27 pct
The motorcycle maker said on Tuesday it has hired a former General Motors Co engineer who oversaw an internal investigation of the defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths.
** RADIAN GROUP INC, $14.66, +4.34 pct
The biggest U.S. private mortgage insurer said it would buy loan review firm Clayton Holdings LLC for $305 million to boost its presence in the industry.
** CIMAREX ENERGY CO, $128.28, +6.90 pct
Four analysts have raised their price target on the oil and gas explorer’s stock after the company reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Tuesday, boosted by a rise in production and higher prices.
Cimarex also raised its second-quarter production guidance.
Analysts at BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, Raymond James and Topeka Capital Markets raised their price target on Cimarex’s stock.
** ATLAS RESOURCE PARTNERS LP, $20.839, +0.24 pct
The oil and gas producer said it signed a deal to acquire reserves holding the equivalent of about 47 million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids at the Rangely field in northwest Colorado for $420 million.
** DOMINION RESOURCES INC, $71.43, +1.12 pct
The producer and transporter of energy said it acquired 32 megawatt solar projects in southwest Tennessee. The two projects are in their late stage development by a private U.S. solar company with commercial operation expected in the fourth quarter. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Edited by Maju Samuel)