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U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.04 percent at 16,799.15, the S&P 500 was down 0.25 percent at 1,959.68 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.09 percent at 4,479.735.
** VAPOR CORP, $2.351, +42.48 pct
The electronic cigarette maker is likely to show robust earnings next year, helped by the shift from standard cigarettes to e-cigarettes, according to a report on stock commentary website Seeking Alpha on Sunday. The company's use of advanced technologies in its e-vapor products, e-liquids, and vaporizer accessories will drive revenue going forward, the report said. (bit.ly/1DTln9g)
** AKEBIA THERAPEUTICS INC, $14.555, -26.19 pct
The drug developer said there were serious side-effects among patients taking its experimental anemia drug, raising questions about the future of a potential blockbuster. High incidence of serious adverse events observed among patients taking the drug compared with the placebo. The company said one death was reported during the trial, which was probably related to the treatment.
** ACCURIDE CORP, $4.67, +9.11 pct
The auto components maker posted the biggest intraday percentage jump in more than three years after brokerage B. Riley raised its rating on the company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”. Analysts said the company was poised for a major refinancing and could generate more than $40 million in free cash flow.
** ALEXZA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $2.52, +11.01 pct
The drugmaker said Grupo Ferrer Internacional SA, which markets its drug Adasuve in some markets, would buy 2 million of its common stock at $4 per share.
** NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO, $27.97, -5.31 pct
** HALLIBURTON CO, $52.02, -6.74 pct
** LAREDO PETROLEUM INC, $17.41, -7.98 pct
** BASIC ENERGY SERVICES INC, $12.74, -8.41 pct
Goldman Sachs slashed its 2015 oil price forecasts, saying rising output would lower demand. Analysts said they expected U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude to fall to $75 per barrel in the first quarter of 2015, down $15 from the previous forecast. They also said they expected Brent to fall to $85 per barrel, compared with their previous forecast of $100.
** DIGITAL ALLY, $15, +3.52 pct
The surveillance camera maker said it got an order from the California police department for 110 FirstVU HD body-worn camera systems. The stock has been in focus as more people view wearable cameras as a means of increasing law enforcement accountability, especially after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year.
** WAYFAIR INC, $25.83, +2.66 pct
At least eight brokerages, including Goldman Sachs, started covering the company’s stock. Piper Jaffray analysts said the online home-furnishing retailer was well-positioned to grow revenue significantly in 2014 and beyond.
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, $98.2, +2.55 pct
Jefferies started covering the Chinese e-commerce company’s stock with a “buy” rating and a price target of $118. Analysts said China’s changing Internet user demographics and mobile development provided a favorable view on e-commerce for the next decade.
** NQ MOBILE INC, $9.53, +6.60 pct
The Chinese mobile-security software maker filed its 2013 annual report after delaying it twice. The company, which was accused of fraud by short-seller Muddy Waters Research Group, said there were no adverse findings in the results.
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, $32.1, +3.35 pct
The memory chip maker authorized a discretionary repurchase of up to $1 billion of its outstanding common stock. The company has been benefiting from strong demand for DRAM and NAND chips.
** PETROLEO BRASILEIRO PETROBRAS SA, $11.1, -14.15 pct
** COMPANHIA ENERGETICA DE MINAS GERAIS CEMIG, $5.59, -10.56 pct
** BANCO BRADESCO SA, $12.98, -5.53 pct
** ITAU UNIBANCO HOLDING SA, $12.63, -6.38 pct
** VALE SA, $10.475, -6.14 pct
Brazilian companies’ U.S.-listed shares fell after Dilma Rousseff narrowly won presidential election on Sunday, beating her pro-business rival Aecio Neves. Investors are skeptical about Rousseff’s ability to turn around a troubled economy after four years of ineffective industrial policies
** SCHLUMBERGER LTD, $92.58, -4.79 pct
** BAKER HUGHES, $50.96, -4.73 pct
** WEATHERFORD INTERNATIONAL PLC, $16.05, -6.47 pct
Brokerage firm Goldman Sachs cut its price targets on shares of oilfield services providers, saying it expected West Texas Intermediate to average $73.75 per barrel in 2015, down from $94.83 in 2014. It also said it expected global benchmark Brent crude to average $83.75, down from $101.82 in 2014.
** NOVAVAX INC, $5.661, +10.35 pct
The drug developer said it had begun a non-human primate study on Ebola vaccine candidate and that it expected to start early-stage trial in December.
** CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC, $14.37, +1.48 pct
Brazilian juice maker Grupo Cutrale and investment firm Safra Group agreed on Monday to acquire U.S.-based banana producer Chiquita in a deal valued at $1.3 billion.
** MERCK & CO, $56.18, -2.48 pct
The No. 2 U.S. drugmaker reported lower-than-expected revenue for the third quarter, hurt by sharply lower sales of its Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer, but cost cuts enabled the company to beat earnings forecasts.
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $15.84, -32.77 pct
The drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had requested additional data regarding the marketing application for its experimental muscle disorder drug, eteplirsen.
** PAIN THERAPEUTICS INC, $2.05, -50.60 pct
** DURECT CORP, $0.7195, -48.24 pct
Drugmaker Pain Therapeutics said Pfizer Inc had terminated the development of its drug abuse resistant painkiller, Remoxy. The actual termination will come into effect six months from Monday, the company said. Remoxy was being developed using Durect’s abuse resistant technology.
** CHEMBIO DIAGNOSTICS INC, $4.69, +17.55 pct
The medical test maker’s shares rose as much as 31 percent to $5.20, their highest in 15 months, after the company said it would develop point-of-care diagnostic tests for Ebola and febrile illness, in partnership with privately held Integrated BioTherapeutics Inc. Chembio will have exclusive rights to any point-of-care product developed under the deal.
** CHICAGO BRIDGE & IRON CO, $52.57, -2.07 pct
Credit Suisse cut its price target on energy infrastructure provider’s stock to $62 from $74, while Goldman Sachs cut it to 61 from $62. Goldman Sachs analysts said ongoing negotiations with the company’s customers on U.S. nuclear power plant projects at risk of further cost overruns. Chicago Bridge recorded a $200 million charge in the third quarter related to the cost impact for the South Carolina nuclear project.
** AARON‘S INC, $23.79, +2.23 pct
Raymond James raised its rating on the rent-to-own furniture retailer’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform”. Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch said Aaron’s acquisition of Progressive Financial Holdings LLC would spur its growth. Aaron’s reported a 32 percent rise in its third-quarter sales last week, and attributed the rise to Progressive Financial.
** SANOFI SA, $53.01, -1.87 pct
The French pharmaceutical company’s board of directors said Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher’s succession was not on the agenda of a meeting scheduled for later on Monday, after Les Echos newspaper reported that the board may address the subject.
** WILLIAMS COMPANIES INC, $53.51, +0.51 pct
** WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP, $51.73, +3.46 pct
** ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP, $62.99, +3.55 pct
Pipeline operator William Companies, which owns controlling interests in Williams Partners and Access Midstream, said the two master limited partnerships had amended the terms of their merger agreement. Under the revised terms, Williams Partners will merge with a subsidiary of Access Midstream in a unit-for-unit exchange of 0.86672 common units of Access Midstream for every Williams common unit.
** AURINIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $3.33, +14.04 pct
Canaccord Genuity started covering the drug developer’s stock. Analysts said they believed the company’s drug for inflammatory disease, Lupus, could peak at $630 million in the United States, if approved.
** SCIENTIFIC GAMES CORP, $9.05, -8.68 pct
Banks led by JPMorgan Chase & Co put off syndicating $3.19 billion of loans for the slot machine maker, leaving its lenders stuck holding the debt, Bloomberg reported, citing four people with knowledge of the matter (bloom.bg/1Dl4nGI)
Syndication would have helped finance Scientific’s $3.27 billion purchase of larger rival Bally Technologies Inc.
** IAMGOLD CORP, $2.29, -2.55 pct
** YAMANA GOLD INC, $5.5, -2.14 pct
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $21.66, -1.32 pct
** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD, $63.56, -1.75 pct
U.S.-listed shares of several gold miners fell as crude oil prices tumbled. HSBC analysts cut their official gold price forecast for the next three years and reduced their long-term gold price assumption target to $1,325 an ounce from $1,350. Spot gold price was down 2.3 percent at $1,228.76 an ounce at 13:20 p.m. ET.
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN INC, $30.445, -1.15 pct
Workers at the miner’s giant Indonesian copper mine will hold a one-month strike from next week, a union official said on Monday, after the company failed to make changes to local management following a fatal accident.
** CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC, $53.84, -5.09 pct
South Korea’s SK E&S Co Ltd said on Monday that it had bought a $360 million stake in a shale gas reserve from U.S. oil driller Continental, adding that the companies would co-develop the reserve and start production from 2017. (Compiled by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)