(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 slipped on Monday, on the heels of disappointing Chinese economic data and signs of increased tensions surrounding Greek debt negotiations. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.36 percent at 17,760.04, the S&P 500 was down 0.19 percent at 2,051.55 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.28 percent at 4,731.18.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $11.97, +10.63 pct
The drugmaker said a combination of its experimental Hepatitis C drug in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc’s blockbuster Sovaldi eradicated signs of the virus following six weeks of therapy.
** ATOSSA GENETICS INC, $1.59, +33.61 pct
The medical device maker signed a distribution deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, the world’s largest maker of scientific instruments.
Atossa will market its FullCYTE breast aspirator device in the United States through Thermo Fisher’s Fisher HealthCare channel under the deal. The device is used by doctors and nurses to collect breast fluid for testing.
** RIO ALTO MINING LTD, $2.9, +9.85 pct
** TAHOE RESOURCES INC, $12.9, -8.58 pct
The Canadian gold miner’s U.S.-listed shares rose after bigger rival Tahoe Resources said it would to buy the company for C$1.4 bln ($1.12 bln) in a cash and share deal.
The offer of C$4 a share represents premium of 22.1 pct to Rio Alto’s Friday close on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
** NORDIC AMERICAN TANKER LTD, $9.31, -6.99 pct
The tanker company said it expects six vessels to be drydocked in 2015 and also reported a flat fourth-quarter profit of 1 cent per share.
** E COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG INC, $8.72, -0.68 pct
** XUEDA EDUCATION GROUP, $2.46, -2.38 pct
** VIPSHOP HOLDINGS LTD, $22.33, -2.74 pct
** CHANGYOU.COM LTD, $25.9, -11.33 pct
** SOHU.COM INC, $52.52, -6.03 pct
China’s trade performance slumped in January, with exports falling 3.3 percent and imports falling 19.9 percent, far worse than analysts had expected, highlighting deepening weaknesses in the Chinese economy.
** REGULUS THERAPEUTICS INC, $15.1856, -9.93 pct
The company said two hepatitis C patients given a single dose of its experimental drug relapsed in a study.
** MCG CAPITAL CORP, $3.95, +3.95 pct
The asset management company said it would explore strategic alternatives including a sale of company and appointed Morgan Stanley as its financial adviser.
** CHINA GREEN AGRICULTURE, $2.19, +14.06 pct
The company reported a 42 percent jump in second-quarter profit, due to a rise in sales of its high-margin liquid fertilizer and significant sales of its Gufeng product to Sino-agri Group.
** CONN’S INC, $24.5662, +9.23 pct
Stifel Nicolaus analysts upgraded their rating on the stock to “buy” from “hold” and set a price target of $33. The company’s credit business is getting “less bad”, analysts wrote in a note, adding that Conn’s has tightened its credit business, which may have halted comparable sales growth, but is good for cash-flow.
** VIGGLE INC, $1.959, -10.95 pct
The company filed for a shelf offering of common stock, preferred stock, warrants or units for aggregate initial offering price of up to $40 million.
** GALENA BIOPHARMA INC, $1.73, +3.59 pct
The company said it enrolled the 700th breast cancer patient in a study to test its experimental immunotherapy drug NeuVax. Galena expects to enroll patients until the end of the first quarter.
** MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS INC, $67.88, +4.98 pct
The walkie-talkie and radio systems maker is looking into a possible sale, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Potential buyers could include private-equity firms and defense contractors including Raytheon Co, Honeywell International Inc and General Dynamics Corp, Bloomberg reported, citing one of the sources. (bloom.bg/16rCCCp)
** ENERGY XXI LTD, $3.7, -2.89 pct
The oil and gas producer reported a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss and revenue below the average analyst estimate. ID:nGNXVCSEUa]
** SHAKE SHACK INC, $40.64, -3.15 pct
** HABIT RESTAURANTS INC, $31.313, -1.03 pct
Analysts at Longbow Research started covering Shake Shack with an “underperform” rating. They opened coverage of Habit with a “buy” rating.
“We are confident Habit Burger has a superior near and long-term growth story vs. Shake Shack from both a new store and same-store sales perspective,” the analysts wrote.
** PEREGRINE PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $1.3099, +7.37 pct
The cancer drug developer said a combination of its drug, bavituximab, with anti-PD-1 antibody was better at fighting cancer in pre-clinical trials than an anti-PD-1 antibody alone.
Bavituximab, a PS-targeting antibody, blocks cells that suppress the body’s immunity to cancer cells, while an anti-PD-1 antibody activates the body’s defenses against tumor cells.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, $0.4403, +4.83 pct
The Canadian drug developer said it submitted an application for orphan drug designation for its experimental drug to treat high grade gliomas in pediatric patients.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $24.4, -5.35 pct
Analysts from BofA Merrill Lynch and Wunderlich Securities cut their ratings on the stock to “underperform” and “sell”, citing “weak management credibility” and loss of pricing power.
** LIGAND PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $53.48, -2.75 pct
The drug developer forecast first-quarter 2015 adjusted earnings of 25-27 cents per share, below the analyst estimate of 52 cents.
The company also said it expected first-quarter revenue of $13 million-$13.5 million, below the average analyst estimate of $20.3 million.
** ALCOA INC, $15.82, -4.53 pct
** CENTURY ALUMINUM CO, $23.63, -6.49 pct
Analysts from J.P. Morgan Securities downgrade Alcoa’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight”, and cut their price target to $18.50 from $20, citing deteriorating aluminum fundamentals and softer global demand.
The brokerage also downgraded Century Aluminum’s stock to “underweight” from “neural”, and lowered its price target to $17.50 from $20.
** NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, $1.089, -10.00 pct
S&P cut Greece’s long-term sovereign credit rating to “B negative” from “B” on Friday, warning that liquidity restraints on Greek banks would limit the time the new government has to clinch a deal with its creditors.
The bank has now erased all the gains from last week and is racing back towards a record low.
** MASCO CORP, $26.44, +1.50 pct
The building products maker reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher sales of its plumbing and decorative architectural products.
** HASBRO INC, $59.52, +6.78 pct
The second-largest U.S. toymaker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by demand for its Transformers, Nerf and Marvel toys in the holiday shopping season.
** COMPUGEN LTD, $7.99, +2.96 pct
The Israeli drug developer said new data shows its experimental cancer therapy has the potential to be a promising immuno-oncology antibody.
** FIFTH STREET FINANCE CORP, $7.27, -14.37 pct
A 17 percent rise in expenses pushed the business development company to a fourth-quarter loss from a profit a year earlier
** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, $33.58, -0.06 pct
The rig contractor reported a 7 percent drop in quarterly revenue as demand dropped due to weak oil prices, and said it would not pay a special dividend as it had been doing since 2006.
** QUALCOMM INC, $68.199, +2.79 pct
The U.S. chipmaker is likely to pay China a record fine of around $1 billion, ending a 14-month government investigation into anti-competitive practices, after it made significant progress during talks with the regulator last week.
** MCDONALD’S CORP, $92.57, -1.51 pct
The company’s worldwide same-restaurant sales fell a steeper-than-expected 1.8 percent in January, as it fights to win back diners around the world and shake off the after-effects of a supplier scandal in China. (Compiled by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)