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U.S. stocks advanced on Monday, with the Dow Industrials up roughly one percent, as the threat of an escalation of tensions in Ukraine appeared to wane and the latest flurry of merger action supported equities. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.02 percent at 16,832.26, the S&P 500 was up 0.79 percent at 1,970.47 and the Nasdaq Composite added 40.34 points, or 0.90 percent, to 4,505.27.
** DOLLAR GENERAL CORP, $63.46, +10.44 pct
** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC, $79.89, +5.04 pct
** DOLLAR TREE INC, $54.49, -2.01 pct
Dollar General offered to buy Family Dollar Stores for $8.95 billion, trumping an offer by Dollar Tree, to strengthen its position as the No. 1 U.S. discount retailer.
Graphic on discount retailers' year-to-date stock movement, (link.reuters.com/juk52w)
** FABRINET, $14.49, -18.37 pct
The electronics manufacturing services company postponed reporting its fourth-quarter and full-year results, citing accounting issues discovered by the management. The company said the audit committee would investigate whether accounting policies were violated.
** MITEK SYSTEMS INC, $2.51, -17.70 pct
The mobile imaging software maker's Chief Technology Officer Michael Strange left after two years in office to pursue other opportunities, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday
** SKY-MOBI LTD, $8.1708, +21.77 pct
The Chinese mobile application store operator reported a 32.4 percent jump in second-quarter revenue on Friday, boosted by strong demand for single-player mobile games. Revenue from single-player mobile games rose 63.3 percent from a year-ago.
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC, $22.6, +9.66 pct
The Hollywood studio appointed Fazal Merchant as chief financial officer, effective Sept. 15. Most recently, Merchant was CFO at DirecTV Latin America.
** NEOPHOTONICS CORP, $3.15, +17.10 pct
Three executives of the company, which makes components used in optical networking circuits, bought 68,500 shares, or 0.21 pct of outstanding shares, at an average price of about $2.72 per share last week.
** HMS HOLDINGS CORP, $21.35, +10.85 pct
Brokerage First Analysis Corp upgraded the healthcare-benefits company's stock to "overweight" from "equal weight", according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $20.36, +12.61 pct
Brokerage Leerink Swann LLC started covering the drug developer's stock with "outperform" rating and a $25 price target. "We believe Tekmira's (lipid-nanoparticle nucleic acid) platform represents a best-in-class technology that has been clinically validated," analyst Michael Schmidt wrote in note.
** LANNETT COMPANY INC, $40.92, +7.97 pct
The generic drugmaker forecast fourth-quarter profit and revenue above analysts' average estimates. The company said it expected net income attributable to Lannett of between 60-64 cents per share on revenue of about $81 million. Analysts on average were expecting 41 cents per share on revenue of $71.2 million.
** INTERSECT ENT, $16.0195, +6.44 pct
At least four brokerages, including J.P. Morgan Securities, started coverage of the medical device maker's stock with their top ratings. "Company's pipeline addresses an estimated $3.5 billion annual U.S. market opportunity," Wedbush analysts said.
** MAVENIR SYSTEMS INC, $11.75, +5.95 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch resumes coverage on stock of the networking software maker with "buy" rating and $19 price target, according to StreetInsider.com. Analyst Tal Liani says roll-out of voice over long-term evolution by U.S. carriers to benefit Mavenir, according to StreetInsider.com. The stock has a median price target of $18.50. Out of 6 analysts covering stock, 4 have "buy" rating and 2 have "strong buy".
** FUEL SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS INC, $10.08, -4.73 pct
The fuel components maker cuts 2014 revenue forecast to $335 million-$355 million from $340 million-$360 million. The company
also reports a 21 percent fall in Q2 revenue, partly due to loss of certain contracts and customers.
** PULTEGROUP INC, $18.67, +2.19 pct
** D.R. HORTON INC, $21.02, +0.86 pct
** TOLL BROTHERS INC, $34.55, +1.65 pct
** LENNAR CORP, $37.54, +1.62 pct
** KB HOME, $17.17, +2.75 pct
** BEAZER HOMES USA INC, $17.945, +3.67 pct
U.S. homebuilder sentiment rose in August to its highest level since January, according the National Association of Home Builders data. NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose to 55 in August from 53 in July, recording its third straight monthly gain, and topping the mean estimate of analysts polled by Reuters for a reading of 53.
** MERCURY GENERAL CORP, $50.44, -3.85 pct
Keefe Bruyette & Woods downgraded the insurer's stock to "underperform" from "market perform", saying it exceeds its target price. The stock has a median price target on the stock of $44. Out of the four brokerages covering the stock, three has rated the stock "underperform" while one has rated it "neutral".
** SENSATA TECHNOLOGIES HOLDING, $48.56, +5.18 pct
The sensors and electrical controls maker said it would buy Schrader group of companies for an enterprise value of $1 billion to benefit from a growing market for tire pressure monitoring sensors (TPMS).
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $9.7101, +1.25 pct
The Canadian smartphone maker's US-listed shares gain after the company creates new unit to house what many consider to be among its most promising assets - cryptographic applications, its QNX embedded software and Project Ion platform for connecting devices.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $9.45, +2.16 pct
The drugmaker said an experimental hepatitis C drug showed promise in a mid-stage trial and that all patients treated with the drug, ACH-3102, showed no detectable levels of the virus after four weeks.
** INGERSOLL-RAND PLC, $62.02, +2.43 pct
** CAMERON INTERNATIONAL CORP, $72.38, -0.34 pct
Ingersoll-Rand, a maker of heating and air conditioning systems, said it would buy Cameron International's centrifugal compression unit for $850 million.
** SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC, $19.08, +2.25 pct
Credit Suisse initiated coverage of the theme park operator's stock with "outperform" rating, according to Theflyonthewall.com. Out of 11 analysts covering Seaworld, five have a "hold" rating, while six have "buy" or "strong buy", according to Thomson Reuters data.
Compiled by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila