January 29, 2015 / 4:28 PM / 3 years ago

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Alibaba, Venaxis, Harman, Gevo

(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks were little changed in early trading on Thursday following two days of losses on the benchmark S&P 500, supported by strong labor market data on a busy day for corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.08 percent at 17,178.46, the S&P 500 was down 0.44 percent at 1,993.29 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.51 percent at 4,614.475.

** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, $88.589, -10.02 pct

The Chinese e-commerce company’s quarterly revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations, showing signs of a slowdown in the company’s scorching growth.

** MCDONALD’S CORP, $92.49, +4.18 pct

The world’s biggest fast-food chain, fresh off one of its worst financial years in decades, on Wednesday said Chief Executive Don Thompson would leave at the end of February and be succeeded by Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook.

** FACEBOOK INC, $76.59, +0.46 pct

The social networking website’s revenue grew 49 percent in the fourth quarter, as mobile advertising growth helped the world’s largest Internet social network beat Wall Street’s targets for earnings and sales.

The company’s big spending plans are facing a tough reception on Wall Street.

** VENAXIS INC, $0.584, -71.37 pct

The in vitro diagnostic company said the U.S. FDA did not find its appendicitis test to be “substantially equivalent” to standard of care, dampening its hopes of marketing the test faster.

** GEVO INC, $0.1361, -46.84 pct

The renewable chemicals and bio-fuel producer priced its public offering of 33.3 million units at 20 cents per unit, a 22 percent discount to Wednesday’s close.


The maker of JBL and Harman Kardon audio systems reported an 18.8 percent rise in quarterly revenue as increasing auto sales led to strong demand for the company’s car infotainment products.

** HARVEST NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $0.6211, -20.37 pct

Texas-based oil and gas producer withdrew arbitration request agains the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

** COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO, $68.47, +5.14 pct

Colgate-Palmolive reported its second straight decline in quarterly sales, hurt by a strong dollar and weak demand in markets such as Brazil and Europe, and the company cut its 2015 earnings forecast.

** QUALCOMM INC, $62.535, -11.91 pct

The chipmaker reduced its outlook for fiscal 2015, saying it expects its newest Snapdragon mobile chip will not be used in a major customer’s flagship smartphone.

** KATE SPADE & CO, $32.491, +9.29 pct

The handbag maker estimated that its full-year sales jumped 40 percent as demand rose for its high-margin kate spade new york-branded handbags and accessories.

** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, $133.18, +4.14 pct

The drugmaker said it would restate financial statements for all of 2013 and the first three quarters of 2014, adding to the company’s list of woes.

** BOEING CO, $144.12, +3.21 pct

The airplane maker on Wednesday said the tide of commercial aircraft demand will keep rising despite cheap oil and a strong dollar, and that it was getting more adept at converting plane orders into piles of cash.

** HELMERICH & PAYNE INC, $55.72, -6.62 pct

Oil and gas driller said it expects revenue for U.S. land rigs to decrease in the current quarter amid a slump in crude oil prices.

** HERSHEY CO, $99.94, -7.19 pct

The chocolate maker agreed to buy jerky maker Krave Pure Foods Inc for its first foray into meat snacks, a fast-growing market that is tempting health-conscious consumers away from chocolate.

** COACH INC, $38.45, +5.46 pct

The handbag maker posted a better-than-expected profit for the second quarter as demand for its Poppy handbags improved in North America, its biggest market, from the first quarter and sales rose in China, a key market.

** JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP, $16.6, +5.26 pct

The airline reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it benefited from lower fuel prices and flew more passengers.

** ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD, $78.03, -4.61 pct

The cruise operator reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to weak pricing in the Caribbean, its biggest market, and a strong dollar.

** FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES NV, $13.21, +2.32 pct

Commerzbank, Kepler Cheuvreux and SocGen raised their price targets on the automaker’s shares after the company reported a fourth-quarter profit in Europe.

** VIVUS INC, $2.74, +3.79 pct

The drugmaker said the European Commission approved the label amendment for its Spedra (avanafil) drug which is used in treatment for erectile dysfunction. The company said that the drug can now be taken 15 minutes before intercourse, compared with 30 minutes earlier.

** U.S. STEEL CORP, $22.27, -5.56 pct

Nomura cut price target on the company’s stock to $37 from $55. U.S. Steel warned on Tuesday that low oil prices and strong dollar could hurt its business in 2015.

** COSAN LTD, $7.03, -5.13 pct

One of Brazil’s largest biofuel producers on Thursday announced the end of a plan to repurchase perpetual debt and delayed the planned spinoff of its fuel distribution unit, citing challenging market conditions.

** XENCOR INC, $17.52, +3.55 pct

The drug developer said its experimental drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis showed signs of efficacy in an early-stage study.

** ALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC, $131.66, +3.13 pct

Sales fall 20 percent in the company’s shooting sports business, being spun off into a new company, Vista Outdoor Inc.

** POTASH CORP OF SASKATCHEWAN , $35.77, -1.19 pct

The world’s biggest fertilizer company by market capitalization reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong potash sales and lower costs.

** DOW CHEMICAL CO, $43.88, +1.98 pct

The chemical company’s adjusted profit handily beat analysts’ estimate as margins in its agricultural sciences business soared, helped largely by new crop protection products. (Compiled by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel)

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