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U.S. stocks slid on Thursday, erasing the previous session’s sharp rally, on lingering concern about the strength of the global economy and after a Federal Reserve official said market views on rate hikes are at odds with the central bank’s. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.79 percent at 16,690.14, the S&P 500 was down 1.79 percent at 1,933.63 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.87 percent at 4,385.09.
** GAP INC, $36.76, -12.27 pct
The apparel retailer’s CEO Glenn Murphy will retire in February and hand over the reins of the company to its digital business head Art Peck.
The company’s September same-store sales were flat, hurt by weak sales at the Gap brand, compared with analysts’ expectations of a 1.1 percent rise. At least three brokerages cut their ratings on the stock to “hold” on Thursday.
“The inflection at the Gap brand is not progressing as we expected, leading to significant pressure on both sales and margins. Making matters worse, CEO Glenn Murphy announced his resignation,” Sterne Agee analysts said.
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** AUXILIUM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $32.61, +9.58 pct
** ENDO INTERNATIONAL PLC, $67.4, -5.07 pct
** QLT INC, $4.01, -0.74 pct
Auxilium agreed to be bought by Endo for $1.67 billion and terminated its deal to buy Canadian eye-drug maker QLT Inc . Auxilium accepted Endo’s offer of $33.25 per share in cash and stock, almost a month after rebuffing a previous offer of $28.10 per share, saying it significantly undervalued the company.
** GENTIVA HEALTH SERVICES INC, $19.49, +16.64 pct
** KINDRED HEALTHCARE INC, $20.58, +4.26 pct
Kindred said on Thursday it would buy Gentiva in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.8 billion including debt, ending its months-long pursuit of the home-healthcare provider.
Kindred said the deal, which it valued at $19.50 per share, would enhance its position as a provider of post-acute care and rehabilitation services and make it the largest provider of integrated health in the United States.
** LAKELAND INDUSTRIES INC, $19.06, +64.03 pct
The spread of the Ebola virus is expected to boost demand for company’s safety garments and accessories. “The company announced adding capacity in response to the increasing demand for specialty protective suits to be worm by healthcare workers and others being exposed to Ebola,” H.C. Wainwright & Co analyst Amit Dayal said.
** HALLIBURTON CO, $57.58, -4.68 pct
** NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO, $31.93, -5.64 pct
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $91.93, -2.83 pct
** CHEVRON CORP, $114.955, -2.54 pct
** BAKER HUGHES INC, $59, -4.22 pct
** PHILLIPS 66, $76.95, -2.79 pct
** HESS CORP, $85.24, -3.59 pct
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL PLC, $18.08, -4.84 pct
** NATIONAL-OILWELL VARCO INC, $71.84, -2.83 pct
Energy shares were once again the biggest losers of the day in morning trading, continuing a recent trend of weakness amid falling oil prices.
The S&P 500 energy index falls 3.6 percent, on track for worst daily percentage drop since April 2013.
** E2OPEN INC, $6.49, -29.61 pct
The Web-based business software provider forecast a bigger-than-expected loss for the third quarter and fiscal year ending Feb. 28.
Jefferies & Co cut the price target on the stock to $13 from $16 and Benchmark Co cut to $12 from $14. Median target price on the stock is $14.50.
** HUBSPOT INC, $30.11, +20.44 pct
The online marketing and sales software company’s shares rose as much as 32 percent in debut, valuing the company at just over $1 billion. The IPO raised $125 million after shares were priced at $25, above the expected price range.
** MOL GLOBAL INC, $8.5, -32.00 pct
The Malaysian e-payment provider’s stock fell as much as 35 percent in its U.S. debut. Majority owned by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan, MOL’s shares opened at $10.75 and touched a low of $8.11. The stock never touched its IPO price till noon trade.
** KOFAX LTD, $5.9, -24.16 pct
The customer management software maker estimated first-quarter revenue of $67 million-$69 million, below analysts’ average estimate of $72.2 million. CEO Reynolds Bish said six- and seven-figure core capture software license revenue transactions slipped into future quarters.
Canaccord Genuity cut its price target to $9 from $10.
** KINROSS GOLD CORP, $2.99, -7.43 pct
The Canadian gold miner’s shares touched a 12-year low on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. The company said it will temporarily suspend mill operations at its Round Mountain mine in Nye Country, Nevada following a fire in the mill building on Oct. 1.
** HUBBELL INC, $109.68, -11.69 pct
J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley cut target price on the stock after the electrical equipment maker estimated its third quarter operating margin was 15.9 percent below its previous forecast.
** RADIOSHACK CORP, $0.8076, +9.21 pct
Shareholder Litespeed Management reported an 8.8 percent stake in the electronics retailer in a 13D filing. A 13D filing indicates a shareholder could potentially play an active role in the struggling company’s future.
Litespeed’s filing said it acquired and held the stake “for investment purposes only.”
** IMPAX LABORATORIES INC, $25.88, +8.56 pct
The company said it was on the hunt for further deals - and would consider a so-called “tax inversion” transaction - after its acquisition of two privately held Pennsylvania drugmakers for $700 million.
The acquisition of Lineage Therapeutics Inc and Tower Holdings Inc, both based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, gave Impax access to an emergency anti-allergen injection, epinephrine.
** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, $2.965, -9.60 pct
The chipmaker named Chief Operating officer Lisa Su as president and chief executive, replacing Rory Read, effective immediately.
Wedbush Securities analysts said timing of the appointment so close to AMD’s Q3 earnings report next week and the fact that Su and Read are still negotiating their compensation are signs that the company’s turnaround may be taking longer than anticipated.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $7.61, -7.08 pct
The department store chain operator’s stock slipped to its lowest since mid-April after falling for the fourth straight session.
Craig-Hallum Capital Group cut its rating to “sell” from “hold”, citing the unexpected drop in September same-store sales. At least three brokerages cut their price targets, with Goldman Sachs lowering its target by $1 to $6
** RUBY TUESDAY INC, $6.9, +16.55 pct
The restaurant chain operator swung to a first-quarter profit after five straight quarters of losses as more customers visited its casual dining restaurants, driving better-than-expected same-restaurant sales.
** ORBIT INTERNATIONAL CORP, $2.43, -11.31 pct
The electronic components and subsystems maker said it intends to voluntarily delist shares from Nasdaq and deregister shares with the SEC to reduce costs.
“We believe the delisting and deregistration will reduce the company’s administrative expenses, allow the company to reinvest the savings into its operations and enable management to focus more of its time on business performance,” Chief Executive Mitchell Binder said.
** NXT-ID INC, $3.38, +12.29 pct
Benchmark starts coverage of the biometric authentication company’s stock with a “speculative buy” and a price target of $6. “We anticipate NXT-ID could generate nearly $21 million in revenue in 2015 based on what we think are very achievable unit sales,” analyst Daniel Kurnos said in a note.
** US AUTO PARTS NETWORK INC, $2.555, +15.09 pct
Roth Capital resumes coverage of the online provider of automotive parts with “buy” rating and price target $4.50. Roth says the company can grow at a double-digit pace over the coming years, citing a 20 pct compound annual growth rate through 2018 in the U.S. online do-it-yourself auto parts market.
** ARCH COAL INC, $1.57, -5.42 pct
** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $1.95, -9.72 pct
** WALTER ENERGY INC, $1.72, -8.02 pct
** PEABODY ENERGY CORP, $10.32, -8.51 pct
Shares of U.S. coal producers fell after Morgan Stanley analysts said that while metallurgical coal prices have bottomed out, recovery would likely take longer and would be weaker than their forecasts. They also cut their 2015 price forecast for hard coking coal to $125 per tonne from $133 per tonne.
Peabody Energy shares fell after China, the world’s top coal importer, said it will impose import tariffs on the commodity after nearly a decade.
** USD PARTNERS LP, $15.99, -5.94 pct
The midstream master limited partnership’s shares fell as much as 7.1 percent in debut, valuing the company at $161.4 million. The offering raised $155 million after its units were priced at $17, below the expected price range.
** DESTINATION MATERNITY CORP, $14.52, -6.02 pct
The maternity apparel retailer said it estimated fourth-quarter adjusted loss in the range of 5-10 cents per share, citing a 5 percent drop in same store sales and higher-than-planned discounting. The company had previously forecast adjusted profit of 4-14 cents per share.
** GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INC, $1.17, +6.36 pct
The Apple supplier told a U.S. court it was barred from disclosing why it filed for bankruptcy, saying the company was “tied up in knots” by a confidentiality agreement. A lawyer for the company told the court on Thursday it could not reveal its bankruptcy game-plan as a result.
** FRED’S INC, $13.23, -5.63 pct
The regional discount store operator reported on Wednesday September same-store sales growth of 0.2 pct, below the average analyst estimate of 2 pct growth.
“... we remain concerned about slowing traffic and intensifying competitive pressures, and we are unconvinced that management’s efforts to reposition the brand will prove successful ... we still see potential for the company to be acquired,” Wedbush analyst Joan Storms says in a note.
** LINDSAY CORP, $79.07, +5.64 pct
The agricultural equipment maker reported a better-than-expected fourth quarter revenue and profit, helped by a 31 percent rise in U.S. irrigation product revenues driven by sales resulting from storm damage.
** EXAR CORP, $9.07, +5.83 pct
The analog chipmaker said it estimates the second quarter revenue to be at or above the high-end of its earlier forecast of $40-$43 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $41.7 million.
** RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY INC, $18.645, +3.13 pct
The network equipment maker said it would review strategic options and started a restructuring program to cut costs, three days after activist investor Elliott Management reaffirmed its offer to buy. The restructuring is aimed at reducing annual costs by $20-$25 million and improving operating margins by 1-2 percent, Riverbed said in a statement.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC, $31.3849, -5.64 pct
Nomura cut its rating on the company’s stock to “reduce” from “neutral”, seeing scope for its competition to increase. Nomura said it expects new entrants into markets in the UK, the Netherlands and India.
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $45.05, +2.78 pct
The airline reported higher load factor, a measure of how full planes are, for September. The company said Q3 passenger revenue per available seat mile rose about 3.5-4.0 pct. Credit Suisse added the stock to its global focus list.
** VERITEX HOLDINGS INC, $13.57, +4.38 pct
The bank holding company’s shares rose as much as 7.7 percent to $14 in their debut, valuing the company at about $127 million. The IPO raised $35.1 million after the shares were priced at $13, mid-point of the expected price range.
** LIVEPERSON INC, $13.94, +2.12 pct
The customer service software developer stock upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” by Credit Suisse. “We upgrade shares of LPSN ... due to increased confidence that revenue growth will accelerate in 2015 while increasing margins,” the analysts said in a note, raising their price target to $17 from $13. (Compiled by Amrutha Gayathri in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)