U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors took a breather after the Dow and the S&P 500 indexes rose five weeks in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.01 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down 0.04 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index down 0.15 percent.
** ZALICUS INC, $1.22, down 74 pct (9:39 a.m. ET)
The company said it would stop developing its most advanced product, an experimental pain drug, after it failed to show a benefit over a placebo in two mid-stage trials.
** COLLABRX INC, $6.50, up 54 pct (9:40 a.m. ET)
The data analytics firm signed a multi-year agreement with Quest Diagnostics Inc to use the company’s clinical test reports in Quest’s cancer sequencing tests. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
** GULF RESOURCES INC, $2.54, up 20 pct (9:41 a.m. ET)
The Chinese specialty chemicals and crude salt maker’s third-quarter profit almost doubled, led by a 65 percent rise in chemical sales. The company’s chemicals are used in a variety of industries including oil field drilling and papermaking.
** VIROPHARMA INC, $49.44, up 26 pct (9:42 a.m. ET)
** SHIRE PLC, $138.89, up 3.3 pct
Shire is buying ViroPharma for $4.2 billion, attracted by a pipeline of potentially lucrative drugs to treat rare diseases, a growing trend as drugs companies lose revenues from patent expiries on conventional treatments.
** GOGO INC, $23.28, up 24 pct (10:15 a.m. ET)
The provider of in-flight Internet raised the high end of its full-year revenue forecast range as more airlines signed up for its service.
** ARKANSAS BEST CORP, $30.92, up 17 pct (10:55 a.m. ET)
The trucking company reported results far above analysts’ expectations for a traditionally strong third quarter as tonnage picked up in its freight business.
** RADNET INC, $1.99, down 15 pct (11:07 a.m. ET)
The diagnostic imaging services provider reported a surprise loss, partly due to higher expenses and lower same-center revenue. The company said it had experienced lower-than-anticipated utilization of its services and reimbursement pressure all year, and it cut its full-year forecast for adjusted EBITDA.
** UNILIFE CORP, $2.98, up 14 pct (11:27 a.m. ET)
The company, which makes injectable drug delivery systems, said it signed an agreement with the research and development arm of AstraZeneca Plc.
Unilife will generate revenue from the contract in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
** CIRRUS LOGIC, $19.46, down 13 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)
Barclays Capital confirmed that Apple Inc's iPad Air, unlike older iPad models, does not feature a Cirrus Logic audio amplifier, investment website SeekingAlpha reported. Barclays Capital also said Apple could stop using the company's amplifiers altogether, according to the SeekingAlpha report. (link.reuters.com/cyb64v)
Cirrus gets three quarters of its revenue from the iPhone maker.
** TRANSOCEAN LTD, $54.90, up 3 pct (9:44 a.m. ET)
** ICAHN ENTERPRISES L.P., $112.80, down 6 pct
Transocean said it reached an agreement with Carl Icahn that would see the offshore driller paying out a dividend and reducing the number of board seats, in a move that resolves a months-long proxy battle. As per the agreement, Transocean would pay a $3 dividend, while reducing the maximum number of directors to eleven from fourteen. Icahn had previously pressed for a $4 per share dividend.
** APPLE INC, $518.37, up 0.42 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)
The company is developing new iPhone designs including bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing a unnamed person familiar with the plans.
** FACEBOOK INC, $47.03, down 1 pct (9:47 a.m. ET)
The firm’s director Marc Andreessen’s venture-capital firm sold a third of its stake in the world’s No. 1 online social network, according to a recent regulatory filing.
** ROCKET FUEL INC, $41.70, up 10 pct (11:03 a.m. ET)
Analysts at BMO Capital Markets raised its rating on the stock to “outperform” from “market perform” after the digital advertising technology company forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates on Thursday.
“Gross margins should ease versus the first nine months owing to fourth-quarter seasonality, the strongest for advertising spending,” BMO analysts said in a note.
** ALON USA ENERGY INC, $10.94, up 7 pct (11:00 a.m. ET)
Credit Suisse raised its rating on the refiner to “neutral” from “underperform”, saying the company is pushing ahead with the development of a West Coast logistics business “which could generate EBITDA of $40-$60 million over the next few years”. The brokerage also said the company’s Big Spring distillate recovery project in Texas is on schedule.
** 8X8 INC, $9.99, down 6 pct (10:52 a.m. ET)
The internet telephone company said it agreed to buy privately held Voicenet Solutions, a provider of cloud business telephony and communications services in the UK, for about $18 million in cash.
It also offered publicly 12.5 million shares of its common stock.
** DESCARTES SYSTEMS GROUP, $12.39, up 6 pct (10:11 a.m. ET)
The logistics company said it had signed a deal with a Chinese company to give its customers improved electronic access to airport ground handlers, cargo terminals and air carriers.
** GULFMARK OFFSHORE INC, $51.81, up 6 pct (10:40 a.m. ET)
The oilfield services provider's shares continued to rally on Monday. The company said on Friday that Robert Millard, an independent director, bought 8,951 shares at $48.66. The purchase price was at a premium of 2 percent to the stock's Thursday close. (r.reuters.com/syb64v)
** DISCOVERY LABORATORIES INC, $2.13, up 6 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)
Piper Jaffray & Co analysts started coverage on the company’s stock with an “overweight” rating, saying that its drug, Surfaxin, which treats a respiratory disorder in infants, had significant advantages over older drugs.
The analysts also said that the company’s experimental drug to treat the same respiratory disorder could target a wider population of infants.
“With north of $100 million in peak sales potential ... we believe the company can reach profitability on Surfaxin alone,” analysts David Amsellem and Traver Davis wrote in a note to clients.
** GRIFOLS SA, $31.69, up 6 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)
The Spanish pharmaceuticals group said it would finance its $1.675 billion acquisition of Novartis’s blood transfusion diagnostics unit with a $1.5 billion loan from banks.
** DENBURY RESOURCES INC, $18.29, down 5 pct (10:03 a.m. ET)
The company said on Sunday it did not intend to create a master limited partnership (MLP).
“While potential complexity, conflicts and tax leakage pushed Denbury away from an MLP, we expect investors may be disappointed as the value uplift from an MLP may have been more immediately evident,” analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey wrote in a note to clients.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $11.73, up 7 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)
The Chinese solar products maker said it would supply 70 MW of polycrystalline modules to solar panel system integrator Shanghai CSET for two commercial rooftop projects.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $16.46, up 5 pct (10:10 a.m. ET)
The Chinese solar panel maker said its laboratory has been accredited by China’s science and technology ministry. The lab, which is in the Changzhou Trina PV Industrial Park, will support research to improve the efficiency and durability of solar modules, the company said.
** MITEL NETWORKS CORP, $6.90, up 4 pct (9:57 a.m. ET)
The provider of internet phone and video-conferencing services said it would buy smaller rival Aastra Technologies Ltd for C$392 million ($374 million) to expand its customer base.
** SILVER WHEATON CORP, $20.96, down 3 pct (10:10 a.m. ET)
The Canadian silver miner’s third-quarter profit fell 36 percent due mainly to lower silver prices and higher costs.
** IMMUNOGEN INC, $13.39, down 2 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “equal weight”, saying the drugmaker’s early-stage pipeline could see negative outcomes, after the company discontinued a mid-stage trial of its experimental small-cell lung cancer drug last week following the death of a patient.
** RDA MICROELECTRONICS INC, $18.12, up 3 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)
The chipmaker said it will sell itself to China’s state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd for about $910 million.
** DEVON ENERGY CORP, $61.03, up 1.5 pct (9:58 a.m. ET)
The oil and natural gas company’s stock could rise 25 percent or more to exceed $80 per share as it reaps the benefit of retooling itself to hunt for more oil, according to Nov. 11 edition of U.S. weekly newspaper Barron‘s.
** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, $74.81, down 2 pct (09:50 a.m. ET)
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $26.96, down 2 pct
Gold prices tumbled $30 an ounce on Friday after U.S. jobs data came in much stronger than expected, reigniting speculation the Federal Reserve is imminently set to taper its quantitative easing program. The prices found support at $1,281 an ounce, but breached that area early on Monday, setting a fresh 3-1/2 week low at $1,278.94.
** CHINA XD PLASTICS CO LTD, $4.79, up 3 pct (11:23 a.m. ET)
The maker of modified plastics for the automotive industry reported a 79.5 percent rise in third-quarter revenue as discounting helped it grow in East China, the largest automobile market in China. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Editing by Maju Samuel)