(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. stock indexes fell on Monday, extending a two-week decline for equities as weakness in oil prices weighed on the energy sector ahead of the start of corporate earnings season. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.51 percent at 17,646.85, the S&P 500 was down 0.75 percent at 2,029.41 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.74 percent at 4,669.161.
** FOUNDATION MEDICINE INC, $48.035, +100.73 pct
Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG will acquire a majority stake in molecular and genomic analysis firm Foundation Medicine for up to $1.18 billion, it said on Monday, in a move to bolster its personalized cancer treatments.
** ARROWHEAD RESEARCH CORP, $6.855, -24.34 pct
The drug developer said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked it to reduce the dosage of its experimental Hepatitis B treatment and requested additional data from the drug’s mid-stage trial.
** AMERISOURCEBERGEN CORP, $91.59, -1.52 pct
** MWI VETERINARY SUPPLY INC, $189.95, +8.14 pct
Pharmaceutical products distributor AmerisourceBergen said it would buy MWI, an animal health products distributor, for about $2.5 billion. AmerisourceBergen said it would pay $190 per MWI share, representing a premium of about 8 percent over the stock’s Friday close.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, $63.3362, +8.03 pct
The yogawear chain raised its revenue and profit forecasts for the fourth quarter above the average analyst estimate, citing strong holiday season sale.
** TIFFANY & CO, $89.06, -13.91 pct
The upscale jeweler cut its adjusted earnings forecast for the year ending Jan. 31 and said it anticipated “significant headwinds” from a stronger U.S. dollar in the coming year.
** SANDISK CORP, $83.09, -14.38 pct
The chipmaker estimated fourth-quarter revenue below its forecast, citing lower revenue primarily due to weaker-than-expected sales of its retail products and NAND storage chips.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $23.15, +47.45 pct
The Canadian drugmaker agreed to buy Pennsylvania-based OnCore Biopharma Inc to focus on developing hepatitis B virus treatment by combining multiple therapeutic methods. The implied market value of the merged company is about $750 million, based on Tekmira stock’s closing price of $15.70 on the Nasdaq on Jan. 9, the companies said in a statement.
** BITAUTO HOLDINGS LTD, $73.14, -17.92 pct
Oppenheimer cut its price target on the Chinese auto information website operator’s stock to $95 from $102. JD.com Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd said last week that they would invest about $1.3 billion in Bitauto and an additional $250 million in its unit YiXin Capital Ltd. Bitauto will incur incremental spending in integrating and developing JD’s platforms, Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a note.
** AGENUS INC, $6, +13.42 pct
** INCYTE CORP, $72.03, +0.00 pct
Two brokerages raised their price targets on Agenus’ stock after the company signed a drug development deal with Incyte for novel immuno-oncology antibodies.
** EXPRESS INC, $14.55, +3.05 pct
The apparel retailer raised its fourth-quarter and full-year profit forecast due to strong holiday season sales. The company said it expected fourth-quarter comparable sales to fall by 3-4 percent from a prior forecast of mid- to high-single digit decline.
** NPS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $45.39, +8.30 pct
British drugmaker Shire Plc has agreed to buy U.S. group NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion, its biggest acquisition yet as it seeks to strengthen its position in the lucrative field of medicines for rare diseases. Shire will pay $46 per NPS share, representing a premium of nearly 10 percent to NPS’s Friday close, the two companies said on Sunday.
** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB CO, $63.01, +4.46 pct
The pharmaceutical company said the independent data monitoring committee concluded that a late-stage study evaluating Opdivo versus docetaxel in previously treated patients with advanced, squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer met its endpoint.
** BIOGEN IDEC INC, $348.73, +1.87 pct
The biotech company said on Sunday it would buy small, privately held Convergence Pharmaceuticals to acquire the U.K.-based company’s portfolio of experimental drugs for chronic nerve pain.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, $90.34, -1.91 pct
** CHEVRON CORP, $106.46, -1.62 pct
** PETROLEO BRASILEIRO PETROBRAS SA, $6.56, -7.08 pct
** CONOCOPHILLIPS, $63.015, -2.93 pct
** BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC, $5.44, -10.82 pct
** REX ENERGY CORP, $2.995, -18.61 pct
** BREITBURN ENERGY PARTNERS LP, $5.82, -9.49 pct
** WHITING PETROLEUM CORP, $28.12, -10.10 pct
** SANCHEZ ENERGY CORP, $8.21, -7.55 pct
** SCHLUMBERGER LTD, $77.57, -4.49 pct
** HALLIBURTON CO, $38.51, -3.24 pct
** BAKER HUGHES INC, $55.06, -2.50 pct
** NATIONAL-OILWELL VARCO INC, $58.26, -5.85 pct
** SEADRILL LTD, $9.505, -4.47 pct
** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, $32.04, -4.07 pct
** TRANSOCEAN LTD, $15.41, -4.29 pct
** HELMERICH & PAYNE INC, $59.16, -2.70 pct
** NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD, $10.52, -4.97 pct
** ROWAN COS PLC, $21.98, -5.05 pct
** ENSCO PLC, $28.43, -2.87 pct
** FRONTLINE LTD, $4.97, +26.14 pct
U.S.-listed shares of oil producers, oilfield services providers and drillers fell on Monday as oil prices dropped below $49 per barrel. Brent was down at $48.78 per barrel, while U.S. crude fell to $47.16 per barrel after Goldman Sachs slashed its short-term price forecasts as Gulf producers showed no signs of curbing output.
U.S.-listed shares of tanker company Frontline rose for the sixth straight session. Tanker companies benefit from low oil prices, which reduce their fuel costs. Increased demand for oil storage has also boosted tanker rates in the past few months.
** HOLOGIC INC, $28.62, +6.95 pct
The medical device maker estimated first-quarter revenue of about $653 million, above the average analyst estimate of $630.5 million.
** BP PLC, $36.27, -0.85 pct
** ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP, $75.28, -4.88 pct
BP and Anadarko narrowly failed to persuade a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its 2014 ruling that they could face civil fines under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
** ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, $63.1, -1.74 pct
The oil and gas producer will cut 5-10 percent of the just over 3,000 jobs at its Albian Sands mining project in northern Alberta, a company spokesman said on Friday, although he refrained from connecting the move to plunging oil prices.
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, $70.95, +2.17 pct
The drugmaker said on Monday its MedImmune biotech unit had struck a deal with unlisted U.S. company Omnis Pharmaceuticals on the development of cancer-fighting oncolytic viruses.
** SECOND SIGHT MEDICAL PRODUCTS INC, $12.05, +11.16 pct
The medical device maker received Health Canada’s approval for its retinal implants to treat patients with outer retinal degeneration. The company’s Argus II Retinal Prosthesis is an electronic implant designed to improve vision in those with severe cases of the inherited disease.
** BURLINGTON STORES INC, $49.74, +3.63 pct
At least three brokerages, including J.P. Morgan, raised their price targets on the apparel retailer’s stock by as much as $10 to as high as $62. The company’s holidays sales were helped by improved branded assortments, fresh marketing and its negative correlation to gasoline being among the highest across the retail sector, J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a note.
** NUVERRA ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS, $3.2, -25.41 pct
Jefferies cut its price target on shares of the provider of environmental services to oil and gas industry to $4.25 from $7.25, citing spending cuts by oil and gas companies. The brokerage said it expected spending by oil and gas companies to fall by 12 percent in 2015.
** VMWARE INC, $80.95, +2.60 pct
Activist investor Elliot Management Corp will vote on the virtualization software maker’s parent EMC Corp’s proposed directors this year. The vote is a part of a standstill agreement with EMC, prohibiting the hedge fund from agitating against EMC until September. Elliott, which owns a 2.2 percent stake in EMC, has been publicly pushing to spin off VMware since October.
** BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP INC, $21.72, +16.59 pct
The toy retailer estimated fourth-quarter revenue above the average analyst estimate, citing product launches, marketing programs and higher sales of its gift cards.
** HARMONY GOLD MINING CO LTD, $2.79, +8.14 pct
** GOLD FIELDS LTD, $5.85, +5.60 pct
** YAMANA GOLD INC, $4.785, +7.05 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $4.13, +5.09 pct
** SEABRIDGE GOLD INC, $9.52, +4.50 pct
** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.16, +7.12 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD CORP, $7.06, +4.75 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES INC, $6.3, +9.19 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $2.58, +7.50 pct
Gold rate rose on Monday to its highest level in a month because of weakness in the dollar and a further decline in oil prices, which sparked safe-haven bids for the precious metal. Spot gold rose to $1,231 an ounce, its highest since Dec. 11, on weaker dollar and further decline in oil prices. Silver rose 0.2 percent to $16.53 an ounce
** ARUBA NETWORKS INC, $16.64, -6.15 pct
Brokerage JMP Securities cut its rating on the network equipment maker’s stock to “market perform” from “market outperform”. The company’s recent changes, including cutting compensation and raising targets for many top-performing sales representatives, may potentially cause some to fall short of sales targets, JMP analysts wrote in a note.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $11.4799, -17.71 pct
The drug developer said its muscle drug Eteplirsen failed to improve walking ability in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle disorder, after 144 weeks of treatment.
** CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP, $13.26, -4.12 pct
A group of second-lien bondholders of the casino operator filed a petition for involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection against the company’s largest unit after it defaulted on interest payments.
** DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, $67.23, -1.31 pct
** DOLLAR TREE INC, $69.01, -0.65 pct
** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC, $76.9, -1.40 pct
Discount store chain Dollar Tree said it expected to divest fewer than 300 stores to buy larger rival Family Dollar, and had already identified potential buyers. Dollar Tree, which had 5,282 stores in the United States and Canada as of Nov. 1, said it would likely sign an agreement by the end of the month with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the number of stores it would have to divest.
Some 20 state attorneys general have joined the federal antitrust investigation of competing bids by Dollar General and Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar, a development that potentially complicates the companies’ efforts to win U.S. approval for a deal.
** BEST BUY CO INC, $39.28, +3.21 pct
Shares of the electronics retailer could rise 20 percent this year to $45 per share, and even beyond, financial newspaper Barron’s reported in its Jan. 12 edition. The company has benefited recently from a healthy allocation of Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 and is poised to ride a major upgrade cycle in televisions, the report said.
** ASCENA RETAIL GROUP INC, $11.4, -2.06 pct
The apparel and footwear retailer lowered its adjusted profit forecast for the full year, hurt by lower sales and increased promotions during the holiday season.
** TETRA TECHNOLOGIES INC, $6, -1.80 pct
First Analysis Securities cut its price target on the oilfield services company’s stock from $13 to $8, citing a slowdown and the potential of further delays in drilling activity. (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)