October 6, 2016 / 5:52 PM / 10 months ago

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Twitter, Wal-Mart, Coupa, insurers

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Wall Street was little changed on Thursday, a day ahead of a crucial employment report that would show whether the economy is strong enough to absorb an interest rate hike.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.09 percent at 18,263.98, the S&P 500 was up 0.06 percent at 2,161.12 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.13 percent at 5,309.16.

** TWITTER INC, $19.76, -20.55 pct

Alphabet Inc's Google does not "currently" plan to make a bid for the company, technology website Recode reported. Walt Disney Co has also decided not to move forward with a bid, while Apple Inc is unlikely to be a suitor, Recode reported, citing sources.

** WAL-MART STORES INC, $69.87, -2.51 pct

The world's largest retailer tempered its profit forecast for the next two fiscal years due to investments in its online business and said store openings would slow.

** HERITAGE INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC, $12.07, -12.73 pct

** HCI GROUP INC, $25.02, -13.99 pct

** UNITED INSURANCE HOLDINGS CORP, $14.99, -7.87 pct

** FEDERATED NATIONAL HOLDING CO, $16.28, -7.92 pct

** UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC, $18.86, -15.16 pct

Insurance companies with exposure in Florida were down sharply as Hurricane Matthew barreled toward southeastern U.S.

** ALNYLAM PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $36.4, -48.22 pct

The drug developer said it would halt the development of an experimental therapy for a rare genetic condition that can cause heart failure after a late-stage study showed that patients treated with the drug were more likely to die than those on a placebo.

** SALESFORCE.COM INC, $71.07, +3.87 pct

Chief Executive Marc Benioff played down a potential Twitter acquisition in a Q&A with investors late Wednesday.

** TESLA MOTORS INC, $200.71, -3.72 pct

Brokerage Goldman Sachs downgraded the electric car maker's stock to "neutral" from "buy" and cut its price target to $185 from $240. Analysts cited concerns over Tesla's deployment of capital for acquisitions and potential delays in its new Model 3 car launch.

** YUM BRANDS INC, $87.2, -1.60 pct

The KFC and Pizza Hut owner posted a surprise fall in third-quarter China same-restaurant sales, hurt by protests against Western brands triggered by an international arbitration court ruling on South China Sea.

** KLA-TENCOR CORP, $71.2, -0.01 pct

** LAM RESEARCH CORP, $99.56, +3.53 pct

Semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research Corp terminated its $10.6 billion deal to buy KLA-Tencor Corp after the U.S. Department of Justice told the companies it had serious concerns that the deal would harm competition.

** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $6.66, -2.06 pct

The U.S. natural gas producer closed a private placement of $1.25 billion of debt, shoring up capital for debt repayment 10 months after it said it had no plans to file for bankruptcy.

** METLIFE INC, $47.18, +2.59 pct

The life insurer has opted to spin-off a U.S. retail unit into an independent, publicly traded company to be named Brighthouse Financial.

** ICU MEDICAL INC, $144.59, +14.79 pct

** PFIZER INC, $33.57, -0.97 pct

Pfizer said it would sell its global infusion therapy business, a part of its $15 billion Hospira acquisition last year, to ICU Medical for $1 billion in cash and stock.

** COUPA SOFTWARE INC, $34.6048, +92.25 pct

Shares of Coupa, a U.S. maker of cloud-based software that helps companies manage spending, more than doubled in their debut on Thursday, underscoring strong market appetite for IPOs by tech companies - even unprofitable ones.

** ADVANCED DISPOSAL SERVICES, $21.32, +0.00 pct

The waste management company's stock opened 14 percent above its IPO price and touched a high of $20.50, valuing the company at about $1.70 billion.

** AQUAVENTURE HOLDINGS LTD, $22.01, +0.00 pct

The water-as-a-service company opened about 17 percent above its IPO price on its first trading day and rose to a session high of $22.57, valuing the company at about $450 million.

** BUCKLE INC, $20.98, -11.29 pct

The apparel retailer said its September sales fell 14.8 percent to $82.9 million. Deutsche Bank cut its price target on stock to $21 from $22.

** IDERA PHARMACUTICALS INC, $2.25, -13.79 pct

The drug developer said it would sell up to $50 million of shares in a public offering.

** ZUMIEZ INC, $21.38, +17.02 pct

The sports and accessories maker raised its third-quarter sales and profit forecast. At least five brokerages raised price target on the company's stock.

** ALPHATEC HOLDINGS INC, $6.55, -10.64 pct

The spinal fusion technologies provider said it would cut its workforce by 20 percent and that Chief Financial Officer Michael O'Neill had resigned.

** GENCO SHIPPING & TRADING LTD, $7.41, +64.30 pct

The drybulk shipper agreed with three of its largest shareholders for the sale of up to $125 million of its series A preferred stock at $4.85 per share.

** AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $5.1534, +27.24 pct

The drug developer reported positive data from the open-label study of its drug, Voclosporin, to treat a type of lupus.

** BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS CORP, $15.4, +11.03 pct

Deutsche Bank upgraded the sporting goods retailer's stock to "buy" from "hold" and raised its price target.

** ALLIQUA BIOMEDICAL INC, $0.9, +7.14 pct

The advanced wound care provider forecast third-quarter revenue of about $4.85 million, up 15.7 percent from a year earlier. The company also announced the acquisition of TheraSkin maker Soluble Systems for about $35 million.

** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $6.93, +5.16 pct

Brokerage Axiom Capital raised the solar company's stock to "buy" from "sell" and upgraded the sector to "market overweight" from "market underweight".

** MCEWEN MINING INC, $3.06, -7.27 pct

** GOLD FIELDS LTD, $4.21, -6.03 pct

** IAMGOLD CORP, $3.24, -4.99 pct

** HARMONY GOLD MINING CO, $2.96, -6.62 pct

** SIBANYE GOLD LTD, $11.56, -5.71 pct

Gold prices fell as the dollar strengthened ahead of U.S. jobs data that could put the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates by year-end.

** SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORP, $25.33, -3.17 pct

Brokerage Wunderlich Securities downgraded the gun maker's stock to "hold" from "buy" and cut its price target, citing slowing demand in the U.S. firearms market, partly hurt by unseasonably warm weather.

** REDHILL BIOPHARMA LTD, $13.9, +4.43 pct

The biotechnology company said the late-stage study in Crohn's disease patients could be stopped early if independent panel concludes the drug, RHB-104, is safe and effective.

** JD.COM INC, $27.38, -1.97 pct

Wal-Mart Stores Inc nearly doubled its passive stake in the Chinese e-commerce company to 10.8 percent. (Compiled by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru)

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