(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 were slightly lower on Monday as a fall in crude oil prices weighed on energy stocks and Apple's shares retreated a day before its quarterly results. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.01 percent at 17,644.13, the S&P 500 was down 0.09 percent at 2,073.21 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.13 percent at 5,038.367.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, $113.65, -2.16 pct
The Canadian drugmaker laid out a detailed defense of its relationship with a little-known specialty pharmacy, but its arguments failed to calm all investors’ concerns.
For a shares graphic, (link.reuters.com/rup85w)
BREAKINGVIEWS-Valeant’s clarification efforts further tangle web
TAKE A LOOK-Valeant’s rough week in the markets
** CTRIP.COM INTERNATIONAL LTD, $90.46, +21.68 pct
** QUNAR CAYMAN ISLANDS LTD, $44.24, +11.94 pct
** BAIDU INC, $167, +5.96 pct
Chinese online travel company Ctrip.com International announced a tie-up with rival Qunar Cayman Islands and its backer Baidu through a share swap.
** BANCO MACRO SA, $55.2, +20.84 pct
** YPF SA, $19.56, +7.89 pct
** GRUPO FINANCIERO GALICIA SA, $24.02, +12.77 pct
** BBVA BANCO FRANCES SA, $20.9, +11.76 pct
** PAMPA ENERGIA SA, $21.36, +10.96 pct
** TELECOM ARGENTINA SA, $16.44, +10.41 pct
** ADECOAGRO SA, $10.06, +9.23 pct
Argentine companies’ U.S.-listed shares up after pro-business conservative opposition candidate Mauricio Macri’s surprisingly strong showing in presidential elections on Sunday sets up second vote next month.
** LENDINGTREE INC, $118.37, +20.79 pct
The online lender’s revenue jumped a better-than-expected 69 percent and raised its revenue, profit forecast for full-year 2015 and 2016.
** PEP BOYS - MANNY, MOE & JACK, $15, +23.46 pct
Japanese tire maker Bridgestone Corp said it would buy the auto parts retailer for $835 million in cash to expand its presence in the United States.
The $15-per-share deal represents a premium of 23.5 percent to Pep Boys’ Friday closing price of $12.15.
** MERIT MEDICAL SYSTEMS INC, $20.01, +11.73 pct
Barrington Research raises rating to “outperform”, describing stock’s fall on Friday as “way overdone”. Barrington, which downgraded stock to “market perform”, said it had expected the resulting weakness in the shares.
** PANDORA MEDIA, $13.269, +7.09 pct
Macquarie Equities Research upgrades to “outperform”, according to Benzinga.com, noting the company has strength to fend off competition and improve user metric.
** VBI VACCINES INC, $2.61, +9.30 pct
SciVac Therapeutics Inc to buy VBI with VBI shareholders receiving shares, options, warrants of SciVac representing 46 pct of combined company.
** BIODELIVERY SCIENCES INTERNATIONAL INC, $5.88, +11.36 pct
The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its opioid treatment for chronic pain. Endo International Plc licensed the worldwide manufacturing and marketing rights to the treatment, Belbuca, from BioDelivery in 2012.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $21.97, +6.24 pct
The solar company said it now expects total revenue of $805 million-$815 million for the third quarter, up from $570 million -$620 million forecast earlier.
** NORTHERN TIER ENERGY LP, $26.23, +8.25 pct
** WESTERN REFINING INC, $41.95, -0.73 pct
Oil refiner Western Refining offered to buy the shares of Northern Tier Energy it did not already own in a deal that values the refiner at about $2.52 billion. Western Refining has offered $17.50 in cash and 0.2266 of its share for each Northern Tier unit.
** YELP INC, $24.54, +8.78 pct
The consumer review website operator said Amazon.com Inc’s Echo Bluetooth speaker now plugs into Yelp to pull up local search results.
** SKECHERS USA INC, $32.67, +3.26 pct
The sports footwear maker lost a third of its market value on Friday after it reported smaller-than-expected rise in third quarter comparable sales and revenue on Thursday, hit by strong dollar.
** POST HOLDINGS INC, $63.52, +4.35 pct
Analysts at Stifel upgrades to “buy” from “hold”. Underperformance of Post’s shares following media reports that company is out of bidding for ConAgra Foods Inc’s private brands assets creates potential opportunity for Post’s shares.
** PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS CO, $57.73, +36.74 pct
** DUKE ENERGY CORP, $71.93, -2.45 pct
Duke Energy, the largest U.S. power company by generation capacity, said it would buy natural gas distributor Piedmont Natural Gas Co for $4.9 billion in cash.
** TYSON FOODS, $44.9, -5.35 pct
JP Morgan chops the biggest U.S. meat processor’s stock off its ‘analyst focus list’.
** PGT INC, $11.2, -20.11 pct
Dougherty & Co analysts cautious about the impact-resistant window and door maker’s Q4 forecast, citing recent distributor checks, an incremental rebate program and channel checks.
** AK STEEL HOLDING, $2.34, -12.03 pct
** U.S. STEEL CORP, $10.961, -6.56 pct
** ALLEGHENY TECH, $13.89, -4.60 pct
** TIMKENSTEEL, $11.99, -4.08 pct
** SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, $16.24, -3.62 pct
** COMMERCIAL METAL, $16.44, -3.12 pct
** CARPENTER TECH, $30.99, -4.32 pct
U.S. steel stocks down after BofA Merrill Lynch cuts steel prices estimates in note titled “Lower For Longer”. BofA’s Timna Tanners, rated 5 of 5 stars by StarMine for coverage on sector, cuts Q4 U.S. hot rolled coil (HRC) estimate to $425/short ton from $485/t, and 2016 to $475/t from $510/t.
** HORSEHEAD HOLDING CORP, $3.11, -19.43 pct
The maker of specialty zinc and zinc-based product announces at-the-market stock sale of up to $50 mln through Stifel, Nicolaus & Co Inc.
** WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC, $30.9782, -4.03 pct
Analysts at Cowen & Co cut price target to $35 from $40, saying they remained concerned about the impact of competitive pressure and produce-deflation on results.
** JAKKS PACIFIC INC, $7.92, -9.17 pct
The maker of Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon toys’ third-quarter sales missed analysts’ estimate, hurt by lower sales in its role-play, novelty and seasonal toys business.
** PAYPAL HOLDINGS INC, $36.06, +3.06 pct
Analysts at Goldman Sachs adds stock to Americas “conviction buy” list. Freed from eBay, PayPal is now expected to partner with other e-commerce sites and try to gain market share from startups such as Stripe and Square, as well as Apple Inc , which unveiled its own mobile payments service last year.
** MARCUS & MILLICHAP INC, $43.58, -7.61 pct
Analysts at JMP Securities cuts rating on the commercial real estate broker to “market perform” from “market outperform”.
** CHANGYOU.COM LTD, $20.09, +11.98 pct
The Chinese videogame developer reports Q3 profit and revenue above analysts’ average estimate due to a reduction in marketing spend for mobile Internet products and reduced headcount.
** MURPHY USA INC, $59.83, +6.72 pct
Wells Fargo Securities raises stock rating to “outperform” from “market perform”, says Q3 to benefit from strong merchandise sales and oil price slump.
Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila