September 25, 2013 / 6:28 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-J.C. Penney, BlackBerry, Wal-Mart, Carnival Corp

Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 facing a possible fifth straight day of declines, as the lack of progress in Washington threatened a government shutdown in just six days. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 14.83 points or 0.1 percent, to 15,319.76, the S&P 500 gained 0.73 points or 0.04 percent, to 1,698.15 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.057 points or 0.21 percent, to 3,776.311.

** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $10.18, down 15 pct (01:39 p.m. ET)

The struggling retailer’s shares tumbled to their lowest in nearly 13 years on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs said it expects sales at the troubled department store chain to improve more slowly than expected.

** BLACKBERRY LTD, $8.10, down 5 pct (01:54 p.m. ET)

The Canadian smartphone maker’s shares fell five percent on Wednesday on rising doubts a $4.7 billion takeover offer for the struggling smartphone maker by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd FFH.TO will succeed.

** WAL-MART STORES INC, $74.66, down 1.4 pct (02:22 p.m. ET)

The retailer’s shares fell as much as 2.1 percent in afternoon trading after a report by Bloomberg News said the retailer is cutting orders with suppliers this quarter and next quarter to address rising inventories.

** CARNIVAL CORP, $32.74, down 5.2 pct (01:45 p.m. ET)

The world’s largest cruise operator’s shares slid a further 5 percent on Wednesday as analysts cut their price targets on the cruise operator’s stock and expressed concern that a recovery in bookings would come no earlier than 2015.

** ONCOTHYREON INC, $2.23, up 24 pct (01:39 p.m. ET)

German drugmaker Merck KGaA will conduct new tests on an experimental lung cancer vaccine which failed a previous late-stage clinical trial, it said. The drug, licensed from U.S. biotech firm Oncothyreon, will be tested on patients with locally advanced Stage III non-small cell lung cancer, which cannot be surgically removed, unchanged from the previous trial called START, the firm said.

** PACIFIC BIOSCIENCES OF CALIFORNIA INC, $6.02, up 74 pct (01:40 p.m. ET)

Pacific Biosciences of California Inc said it licensed its technology to develop DNA-sequencing products to Roche Diagnostics. The company will get an upfront payment of $35 million from Roche, and expects to get an additional $40 million in milestone payments.

** MAKO SURGICAL CORP, $29.54, up 82 pct

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