(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.44 percent at 17,882.6, the S&P 500 was up 0.01 percent at 2,070.77 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.20 percent at 4,774.69.
** CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP, $15.605, +15.68 pct
** CAESARS ACQUISITION CO, $9.99, +5.60 pct
Casino and entertainment company Caesars Entertainment, whose largest operating unit plans to file for bankruptcy, said it would buy affiliate Caesars Acquisition in an all-stock deal. The world’s largest gaming company said the deal would allow it to restructure the unit’s debt of about $18.4 billion without the need for significant outside financing.
Breakingviews-Wall St’s $18 bln poker game has more rounds to go
** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $15.65, -28.54 pct
** ALTISOURCE PORTFOLIO SOLUTIONS SA, $32.36, -31.93 pct
** ALTISOURCE RESIDENTIAL CORP , $18.66, -6.79 pct
** ALTISOURCE ASSET MANAGEMENT CORP, $344.49, -25.96 pct
** HOME LOAN SERVICING SOLUTIONS LTD, $19.66, -5.71 pct
Ocwen agreed to replace its chairman as part of a $150 million settlement with New York’s financial regulator after the mortgage collection company admitted to violations, including improper foreclosures.
Erbey will also step down as chairman of Altisource Portfolio, Altisource Residential, Altisource Asset Management and Home Loan Servicing Solutions.
** ABBVIE, $67.05, -0.97 pct
** GILEAD SCIENCES, $93.85, -13.46 pct
** ENANTA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $49.45, +6.07 pct
Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, has lined up a cheaper price from AbbVie on its newly approved hepatitis C treatment and, in most cases, will no longer cover Gilead treatments.
Shares of Enanta Pharma, which helped develop the AbbVie drug, also rose.
Breakingviews-Pharma toys with mutually assured destruction
** ADVAXIS INC, $6.75, +20.32 pct
** CALITHERA BIOSCIENCES, $24.01, -14.04 pct
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.97, -3.46 pct
Adage Capital Advisors reported an 18.84 percent passive stake in Advaxis, as of Dec. 15.
Adage Capital also holds stakes in other cancer drug developers such as Calithera and Ariad.
** SGOCO GROUP LTD, $0.7319, -47.35 pct
The Chinese flat-panel display maker said it was considering restructuring and may sell its Fujian trading unit. The company also said its revenue fell 70 percent to $34.1 million for the first-half ended June 30, hurt by lower PC demand.
** CHINANET ONLINE HOLDINGS INC, $1.46, +39.05 pct
The Chinese advertising company said it signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement with web-based printing services provider MediaFun Creative Co.
** MOBILE TELESYSTEMS OAO, $8.44, +4.98 pct
** QIWI PLC, $20.69, +3.14 pct
** VIMPELCOM LTD, $4.1, -0.49 pct
** CTC MEDIA INC, $4.83, +0.21 pct
** YANDEX NV, $18.14, +0.78 pct
U.S.-listed Russian stocks were up in trading as Russia’s domestic stock markets rebound due to a rise in oil prices and a pause in panic-selling.
** ULTRA PETROLEUM CORP, $14.08, -10.72 pct
** SWIFT ENERGY CO, $4.51, -4.25 pct
** BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC, $7.52, -5.76 pct
** PRECISION DRILLING CORP, $6.25, -8.63 pct
** NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD, $12.92, -5.21 pct
Oil prices resumed their downward march on Monday, doubling back on the biggest one-day gain in over two years, after Saudi Arabia’s powerful oil minister said OPEC would not cut production at any price.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $10.39, +4.00 pct
Raymond James raised its target price on the U.S. shares of the Canadian smartphone maker to $11 from $10.50, while TD Securities upgraded raised its rating on company to “buy” from “hold”.
TD Securities is the second brokerage to upgrade to “buy” in last 30 days, according to Thomson Reuters data.
** KNOWLES CORP, $21.48, +6.44 pct
Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC started coverage on the audio product and hearing aid component maker's stock with a "buy" rating and price target of $26, according to Streetinsider.com. (bit.ly/1vgMlBU)
** CONTRAFECT CORP, $3.95, +41.07 pct
The U.S. health regulator has removed clinical hold on starting clinical trial of the biotech company’s experimental enzyme, CF-301, aimed at treating bacterial infections.
ContrFect’s lysin technology could be both “disruptive” and “transformative” in addressing growing unmet medical need of bacterial infections and resistance, Roth Capital Partners analysts wrote in note.
** S&W SEED COMPANY, $4.06, +12.47 pct
The alfalfa seed breeder said on Friday it would buy DuPont Pioneer’s alfalfa production and research facility assets for $42 million.
S&W will also buy DuPont Pioneer’s alfalfa germplasm and related assets for an additional $7 million and expects to become DuPont’s sole supplier of alfalfa seeds through 2024.
** EXACT SCIENCES, $27.2, +4.74 pct
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it will reimburse the drugmaker’s colorectal cancer screening test for $500.76 per test
** RADIUS HEALTH INC, $39, +21.76 pct
The drug developer said its experimental osteoporosis drug met the main goal in a late-stage trial. Abaloparatide-SC is being studied as potential treatment for patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis at high risk of fracture.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $16.19, +13.93 pct
The drugmaker said it would test a combination of two of its experimental hepatitis C drugs after they showed promise against the virus in separate studies.
** TESCO CORP, $12.7, -6.62 pct
The oilfield services company estimated a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted profit, citing lower drilling activity due to slide in oil prices.
** CYTORI THERAPEUTICS INC, $0.5279, +4.35 pct
The drug developer amended its contract with a U.S. agency, increasing the value of a deal by about $2 million from the original $12.1 million.
** TASER INTERNATIONAL INC, $25.89, +7.97 pct
The stun gun and wearable camera maker said it received orders for 1,879 Smart Weapons from Ontario provincial police. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)