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U.S. stocks held near the unchanged mark on Tuesday as investors digested the latest batch of solid economic reports on the heels of the strongest monthly performance for the S&P since February. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.31 percent at 17,045.23, the S&P 500 was down 0.25 percent at 1,998.44 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.27 percent at 4,592.73 points.
** IDREAMSKY TECHNOLOGY LTD, $21.93, +6.51 pct
Stifel Nicolaus starts covering the Chinese mobile games distributor’s stock with “buy” rating and $27 price target, while Piper Jaffray & Co starts with “overweight” rating, $30 price target. Stifel analysts George Askew and Zim Yin said they believe iDreamSky is well placed to benefit from China’s emerging mobile games industry, projected to grow at compound annual rate of 46 percent.
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $7.87, -4.95 pct
** GOLDCORP INC, $26.66, -5.02 pct
** HECLA MINING CO, $3.14, -3.98 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $4.33, -4.63 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.86, -3.74 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $5.27, -5.39 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $9.01, -3.84 pct
Gold fell to its weakest in 2-1/2 months on Tuesday, underpinned by worries about stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine and unrest in the Middle East.
Spot gold was down 1.4 pct at $1,268.83 an ounce at 1311 GMT, after hitting its lowest since mid-June at $1,265.10. U.S. gold futures for December delivery down $17.60 at $1,269.70. Spot silver was down 1.3 percent at $19.20 an ounce, having touched its lowest since June 11 at $19.11.
** BOEING CO, $124.97, -1.44 pct
Buckingham Research Group cut its rating on the aircraft maker’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral”, giving Boeing’s stock the first such rating since 2009, when the company was suffering from delays in bringing its 787 Dreamliner to market .
Buckingham also cut its price target to $101, while RBC Capital Markets cuts price target to $134 from $145.
** ALDEYRA THERAPEUTICS INC, $3.9899, +15.32 pct
The biotechnology company hired three senior professionals in its drug development team to support planned trials of its key experimental drug NS2
** PALO ALTO NETWORKS INC, $88.693, +4.36 pct
Oppenheimer raised its price target on stock of the cyber security software maker to $90 from $80. Demand for the company’s software remains strong across markets and customers continue to be drawn to its high-end appliances and malware detection software Wildfire, analyst Shaul Eyal said in a note.
** EFUTURE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INC, $5.7492, +19.00 pct
China’s C&U Group selected eFuture’s software to manage retail processes at its supermarkets and convenience stores
** CELLULAR BIOMEDICINE GROUP INC, $21.63, +11.49 pct
The drug developer launched a study on its stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for cartilage defects resulting from osteoarthritis or sports injury. The therapy, ReJoin, is already being studied for treating knee osteoarthritis.
** PETHEALTH INC, $2.78, +25.79 pct
The Canadian pet insurer said it would be bought by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, the Canadian property and casualty insurer run by Prem Watsa, for C$100 million in cash. The offer price of C$2.79 per share represents a 26 pct premium to the stock’s Friday close.
** RICEBRAN TECHNOLOGIES, $5.355, -19.47 pct
The rice-bran derived foods and animal nutrition company said it was withdrawing results outlook for 2014 due to impact on production from a plant breakdown and rice bran availability in Brazil, and commodity cost in the United States due to a drought in California.
** COMPUWARE CORP, $10.515, +12.46 pct
The software maker, under pressure from investors for more than a year over its poor performance, agreed to be taken private by investment firm Thoma Bravo LLC in a deal valued at about $2.5 billion. Compuware’s shareholders will receive $10.92 per share - $10.25 in cash and 67 cents in shares of Covisint, in which the company owns an 83 percent stake.
** FORMFACTOR INC, $8.11, +15.20 pct
The semiconductor wafer probe maker on Monday raised third-quarter revenue forecast to $71 million-$75 million from $68 million-$73 million, citing increased customer demand.
Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $70.3 million.
Citi Investment Research on Tuesday raised its price target on the stock to $7.25 from $6.50.
** DIGITAL ALLY INC, $31.65, +69.61 pct
** GOPRO INC, $54.8844, +5.95 pct
** IMAGE SENSING SYSTEMS INC, $5.3113, +43.16 pct
Digital Ally forecast full-year revenue of about $22.5 million, encouraged by a “five-fold” rise in inquiries for its wearable cameras from police departments in the aftermath of the fatal shooting in Ferguson last month.
Shares of GoPro and Image Sensing Systems, which also make wearable cameras, were also up.
** EXELIXIS INC, $1.89, -54.35 pct
The cancer drug developer said on Monday it would cut about 70 percent of its workforce after its experimental prostate cancer drug cabozantinib failed a late-stage study.
** CONN’S INC, $31.5886, -29.54 pct
The furniture retailer and consumer credit provider reported lower-than-expected Q2 profit and forecasts full-year earnings below estimates, citing a rise in provisions for bad debts
The company said it expects future 60-plus day delinquency to increase to levels above historical highs in the third and fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.
** CHINA HGS REAL ESTATE INC, $9.2, +22.18 pct
The Chinese real estate developer signed a second shanty area rebuilding framework agreement with Hantai District government of Hanzhong City in Shaanxi province of China
** ASCENT SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES INC, $3.18, +12.37 pct
The solar panel maker issued shares on Friday to its largest shareholder TFG Radiant Investment Group and Series A investor, Seng Wei Seow, at 30 percent premium to the stock’s Thursday close.
The company had announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split on Aug. 25
** 1-800-FLOWERS.COM INC, $6.16, +19.61 pct
The gift retailer said it would buy Harry & David Holdings Inc, known for its gourmet food brands such as Wolferman’s English muffins and Cushman’s HoneyBells citrus products, for $142.5 million in cash.
** NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD, $37.275, +11.90 pct
The cruise operator said it would buy Prestige Cruises International Inc in a $3.03 billion deal, including debt, for cash and stock.
** ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $27.089, +12.97 pct
The drugmaker said its experimental drug nuplazid, which aims to treat psychosis related to Parkinson’s disease, gets “breakthrough therapy” status from U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
** CLOUD PEAK ENERGY INC, $14.29, -9.04 pct
The coal miner cut its 2014 shipment forecast to 83-86 million tons from 85-89 million tons, hurt by railroad disruptions. The company also said its 2015 results are expected to be lower than 2014.
** ALDER BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, $14.24, -16.43 pct
The drug developer said Bristol-Myers Squibb Co returned the worldwide rights to its experimental anti-inflammatory drug, clazakizumab.
** XRS CORP, $5.54, +83.44 pct
The fleet optimization software provider said it would sell itself to Omnitracs LLC for $5.60 per share, a premium of 85 pct to XRS’s Friday close.
** STAPLES INC, $12.62, +8.05 pct
** OFFICE DEPOT INC, $5.45, +6.45 pct
Credit Suisse analyst G. Balter said in a note that a potential merger of the office supplies retailers will be “compelling”. Synergies, conservatively estimated at $1.44 billion, would more than double the combined company’s operating profit by 2017, Balter said. Credit Suisse also raised its rating on Staples’ stock to “outperform” from “neutral”.
** SELECT INCOME REIT, $26.36, -5.52 pct
Select Income said it would buy office REIT Cole Corporate Income Trust in a $3 billion deal. Cole Corporate stockholders can elect to get $10.50 in cash or 0.36 shares of Select Income’s common stock, the companies said.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $12.15, +5.01 pct
** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $364.86, +4.11 pct
UBS raises price targets on biotech stocks, saying it sees upside despite steep gains so far this year.
“None of our models look stretched, and in our view there appears to be plenty of room to beat (expectations), which we think can continue to drive numbers higher,” UBS analysts said in note.
** NOVARTIS AG, $93.66, +4.25 pct
The Swiss drugmaker said on Aug. 30 that a study showed its experimental treatment, LCZ696, cut by a fifth the risk of both cardiovascular death and hospital admissions.
** CROWN HOLDINGS INC, $50.01, +3.60 pct
Dutch brewer Heineken NV has agreed to sell its Mexican packaging business Empaque to Crown for $1.23 billion including debt.
** SYNAPTICS INC, $86.17, +4.96 pct
Fingerprint identification technology used in smartphones could sharply boost shares of Synaptics, a longtime leader in touchscreens, according to Barron’s.
** ROSETTA GENOMICS LTD, $3.771, +1.64 pct
The molecular diagnostics company entered into a three-year agreement with Tampa, Florida-based Moffitt Cancer Center to develop and market microRNA-based cancer diagnostics. Rosetta will fund Moffitt’s projects that align with its “strategic priorities”.
** MCDONALD’S CORP, $92.749, -1.04 pct
McDonald’s will increase the number of audits it conducts of suppliers in China, the firm said on Tuesday, after a food scandal in July dented China sales at the U.S. fast food chain and rival Yum Brands Inc.
** APPLE INC, $103.4, +0.88 pct
** VISA INC, $214.25, +0.81 pct
** MASTERCARD INC, $75.64, -0.22 pct
** AMERICAN EXPRESS CO, $89.58, +0.03 pct
Apple plans to enable its next iPhone to become a mobile wallet by allowing owners to securely make mobile payments in a store with the touch of a finger, Bloomberg said on Sunday, citing a person familiar with the situation. (Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)