June 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were largely flat on Wednesday as mixed reads on the economy gave the market little direction and traders were reluctant to buy with indexes near record levels. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.04 percent at 16,729.77 and the S&P 500 was up 0.15 percent at 1,927.04.
** LSB FINANCIAL CORP, $40.06, +41.55 pct
Old National Bancorp said it would acquire LSB Financial, which owns the Lafayette Savings Bank, for about $66.7 million. LSB Financial shareholders will receive 2.269 shares of Old National common stock and $10.63 in cash, or about $41.67, per share held.
** NQ MOBILE INC, $10.361, +35.79 pct
The Chinese mobile security software maker said a special committee had found no evidence of fraud, as alleged by short-seller Muddy Waters Research Group.
** TF FINANCIAL CORP, $41.74, +31.09 pct
Bank holding company National Penn Bancshares Inc said it would acquire TF Financial for $138 million. TF Financial shareholders may elect to receive $42 in cash, or 4.22 shares of National Penn stock, for each share held.
TF Financial owns 3rd Fed Bank, an FDIC-insured savings bank.
** VANDA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $12.89, +28.64 pct
The drugmaker said European regulators accepted for evaluation a marketing application for its sleep disorder drug, Hetlioz.
Hetlioz was approved in the United States in January to treat Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake disorder.
** DRAGONWAVE INC, $1.44, +17.84 pct
The wireless networking equipment maker raised its first-quarter revenue growth forecast to 60 percent from 50 percent.
** PROTECTIVE LIFE CORP, $69.34, +18.09 pct
Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co has agreed to buy U.S. peer Protective Life for $5.7 billion, the largest acquisition by a Japanese insurer, displaying its determination to grow overseas to counter weak prospects at home.
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLD CO LTD, $2.84, -3.73 pct
** RENESOLA LTD, $2.25, -2.60 pct
** HANWHA SOLARONE CO LTD, $2.21, -3.49 pct
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $12.62, -2.70 pct
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $25.05, -7.29 pct
** CHINA SUNERGY CO LTD, $3.11, +3.67 pct
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $9.75, -1.32 pct
** REAL GOODS SOLAR INC, $2.36, +2.61 pct
** FIRST SOLAR INC, $65.76, +4.50 pct
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $23.849, -4.95 pct
** SOLARCITY CORP, $49.03, -0.37 pct
** SUNPOWER CORP, $34.41, +7.50 pct
** SUNEDISON INC, $20.35, +4.41 pct
The United States slapped new import duties on solar panels and other related products from China on Tuesday after the Commerce department ruled they were produced using Chinese government subsidies, potentially inflaming trade tensions between the two countries.
U.S. solar companies such as First Solar and SunPower are expected to benefit as the duties will make their panels more competitive with Chinese products.
** TIBCO SOFTWARE INC, $19.43, -6.54 pct
The company forecast second-quarter revenue and profit below estimates, hurt by disappointing sales of its data analytics and visualization software, Spotfire.
The outlook prompted at least three brokerages to downgrade the stock.
** FUELCELL ENERGY INC, $2.2309, -5.87 pct
** BALLARD POWER SYSTEMS INC, $3.7003, -5.84 pct
** PLUG POWER INC, $4.42, +0.23 pct
The developer of fuel-cell power plants reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the second quarter, hurt by a drop in demand and higher costs. Excluding items, loss was 4 cents per share, higher than analysts’ average estimate of 3 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The net loss attributable to shareholders more than doubled to $16.6 million, or 7 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 30, from $8.2 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.
Shares of other fuel-cell makers also fell.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $36.49, +3.49 pct
The automaker will hold a news conference on Thursday where the company is expected to release the findings of its internal probe into why it took so long to discover a defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths.
** AEGION CORP, $21.96, -6.47 pct
The company, which provides services to protect against corrosion of pipelines and rehabilitate and strengthen water, cut its forecast for second-quarter earnings due to slower growth in projects and weaker margins in its energy and mining business.
* REPLIGEN CORP, $20.73, +8.19 pct
The biotechnology company raised its full-year 2014 forecast on Tuesday following its acquisition of privately held Refine Technology for an upfront payment of about $24.5 million.
Repligen said it now expects 2014 sales of $56-$59 million, up from a previously forecast of $52 million-$55 million. Jefferies analysts on Wednesday raised Repligen’s target price to $22 from $20.
** REXNORD CORP, $27.135, +4.97 pct
Wedbush Securities raised its price target on the company’s stock to $33 from $31 and reiterated its outperform rating. The brokerage said Rexnord, which makes gear drives and gear sets for diverse industries, would benefit from improving water infrastructure markets and continued acquisition activity.
** NRG YIELD INC, $48.99, +4.41 pct
The lean energy company said it will buy the largest wind farm in North America for $870 million, helping parent NRG Energy Inc bulk up its clean energy portfolio and comply with strict air emission rules.
** NEWELL RUBBERMAID INC, $30.28, +4.45 pct
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the shares of the company, known for its Sharpie pens and Rubbermaid storage containers, to “overweight” from “equal weight,” saying it expects a rebound in organic sales due to increased advertising, emerging markets expansion, and a macroeconomic/housing recovery.
** ZULILY INC, $33.07, -4.14 pct
The online retailer’s senior vice president-marketing, Atchison David Lee, plans to sell 35,000 shares from the company’s restricted stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
** ADVAXIS INC, $3.28, +7.54 pct
Preclinical data published in a medical journal showed that the biotechnology company’s lead experimental treatment increased anti-tumour activity in mice.
The immunotherapy, codenamed ADXS-HPV, is currently being evaluated for use in anal, cervical and head and neck cancer.
** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, $47.95, -3.25 pct
The offshore rig contractor said its unit received a termination notice of drilling contract from Norwegian energy firm Statoil ASA. Diamond Offshore said the contract provides for a dayrate of about $454,000 and was estimated to conclude in February next year.
** ANNIE‘S INC, $30.06, -7.79 pct
The organic food maker said PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP informed the company that it was resigning as its auditor after identifying a "material weakness" in its process of financial reporting. (r.reuters.com/byc89v)
Annie’s Inc said this had not resulted in any material misstatements of its results for the years ended March 2012 to 2014.
** WALGREEN CO, $74.7, +4.39 pct
The U.S. drugstore chain operator said sales rose 6 percent to $6.57 billion in May. Comparable store sales increased 4.4 percent. The company said customer traffic in comparable stores fell 0.5 percent but basket size increased 3.1 percent, indicating higher spending by customers.
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.5, +2.64 pct
The Canadian gold miner said it was unclear why its stock had surged in late afternoon trading on Tuesday, and stressed that the company had no news pending at this time.
Market sources, who asked not to identified as it is against their firm’s policy to comment on individual companies, said the move might be tied to speculation around Iamgold’s long-planned sale of its Niobec niobium mine in Quebec.
** JC PENNEY CO, $8.42, -1.98 pct
Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service warned it was unlikely to upgrade the department store operator’s Corporate Family Rating due to the company’s weak interest coverage and ongoing operating losses.
"J.C. Penney's Caa1 Corporate Family Rating continues to reflect Moody's belief that its sales reached bottom in 2013 and that it is likely to generate a low-to-mid-single digit sales growth in 2014," the ratings agency said late on Tuesday. (r.reuters.com/bef89v)
* FERRO CORP, $12.77, -2.96 pct
* SCHULMAN A INC, $35.04, +2.58 pct
Chemical maker A. Schulman Inc said it would acquire selected assets of rival Ferro Corp’s specialty plastics business for about $91 million. The deal includes four facilities in the United States and operations in Spain.
Ferro Corp said in a separate statement it would use the proceeds from the sale to reduce debt. The company also lowered its 2014 adjusted earnings forecast to 48 cents to 53 cents per share from 68 cents to 73 cents.
Schulman had expressed interest in acquiring Ferro in February 2013, but dropped its bid in July.
** MBIA INC, $12.34, +5.65 pct
The financial guarantee insurer’s chief executive Joseph Brown bought 62,165 shares for about $727,952 at an average price of $11.72, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
** COACH INC, $39.01, -2.53 pct
Sterne Agee cut its rating on the handbag maker to “neutral” from “buy” and its price target by $10 to $41, citing falling U.S. sales and lower margins. (Compiled by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)