(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 opened lower on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track for a second week of declines, as a strong monthly jobs report heightened expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than anticipated. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.97 percent at 17,959.16, the S&P 500 was down 0.85 percent at 2,083.16 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.58 percent at 4,953.887.
** APPLE INC, $128.06, +1.31 pct
** AT&T Inc, $33.387, -1.80 pct
The iPhone and iPad maker will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average on March 18, replacing AT&T Inc, S&P Dow Jones Indices said on Friday. With a market capitalization of about $736 billion, Apple is the largest publicly traded company in the world. AT&T, by contrast, has a market value of $176.5 billion.
** For an interactive graphic on how if Apple had been substituted for almost all of the Dow's 30 components, (here)
** LIFE TIME FITNESS INC, $66.12, +14.65 pct
The gym operator is in advanced talks with private-equity bidders, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. PE firm KSL Capital Partners LLC is teaming with another firm on a potential bid, the paper reported.
** CALITHERA BIOSCIENCES INC, $15.22, +14.35 pct
The drug developer entered into a global licensing deal with privately-held TransTech Pharma, which grants it exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize TransTech’s portfolio of hexokinase II inhibitors.
** SUNSHINE HEART INC, $4, -25.23 pct
The company said it will halt enrolling patients in a U.S. pivotal study testing its heart device, C-Pulse system, after four of first 20 patients died.
** CHARLES SCHWAB CORP, $31.47, +4.17 pct
** E*TRADE FINANCIAL CORP, $27.58, +2.26 pct
** TD AMERITRADE HOLDING CORP, $38.18, +4.23 pct
Deutsche Bank raises price target of Charles Schwab to $40 from $39; E*Trade to $31 from $28; and TD Ameritrade to $44 from $41.
“SCHW remains our top pick to higher rates, while ETFC’s capital return story is improving and with earnings power less dependent on rates near-term,” analysts said in a note
** AETERNA ZENTARIS INC, $0.69, -31.00 pct
The Canadian biopharmaceutical company priced about 60 million units at 62 cents per share, a 21.5 percent discount to stock’s Thursday close on Nasdaq. The offering consists of share and warrants.
** ENERGY RECOVERY INC, $2.905, -10.89 pct
The maker of energy recovery devices for desalination plants posted a surprise fourth-quarter loss, hurt by a 78 percent increase in operating expenses due to significant investment in research and development, and higher legal expenses.
Jefferies & Co cut price target on the stock to $3.50 from $4.
** CHECKPOINT SYSTEMS INC, $11.34, -15.56 pct
The internet and network security provider forecast 2015 revenue and profit below analysts’ estimates, citing a strong dollar. The company gets over two-thirds of revenue in foreign currencies.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $16.38, +2.38 pct
** GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, $188.24, -0.97 pct
** MORGAN STANLEY, $35.91, +1.10 pct
** JP MORGAN CHASE & CO, $61.54, -0.74 pct
** COMERICA INC, $46.92, +2.04 pct
The Federal Reserve said all 31 U.S. banks passed test of how they would do in the next economic crisis. All 31 U.S. banks were above the 5 percent minimum for top-tier capital, but Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan were among five banks with lowest readings. Zions had the lowest reading of 5.1 pct.
** HARMONY GOLD MINING CO LTD, $1.99, -9.13 pct
** Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd, $29, -7.38 pct
** GOLDCORP INC, $19.18, -7.30 pct
** KINROSS GOLD CORP, $2.56, -6.91 pct
** YAMANA GOLD, $3.78, -7.35 pct
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $11.51, -5.58 pct
Gold fell almost 2 pct to 2-month low after better-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls fueled speculation Federal Reserve will raise rates sooner rather than later
** Silver fell to its lowest level in 2 months at $15.77 an ounce
** CELLULAR DYNAMICS INTERNATIONAL INC, $6.68, +18.86 pct
The biotechnology company reported fourth-quarter revenue of $6.6 million, topping analysts’ estimates of $5 million. Nearly 300,000 shares were traded, more than 5 times the 10-day average.
** AVEO ONCOLOGY, $1.835, +29.23 pct
The cancer drug developer said final data from a mid-stage study shows that patients with low levels of protein neuropilin-1 in their blood could benefit from company’s experimental drug, tivozanib.
** COOPER COMPANIES INC, $178.65, +8.10 pct
At least two brokerages increased price targets after the medical device maker raised the lower end of its full-year adjusted profit range and also reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit.
** MAXPOINT INTERACTIVE INC, $10.55, -8.26 pct
The online advertising software provider said it was offering 6.5 million shares priced at $11.50/share compared with an expected range of $10.50-$12.50. The company’s IPO raised about $75 million.
** GENETIC TECHNOLOGIES LTD, $5.1551, -17.52 pct
The Australia-based molecular diagnostics company priced its offering at 3.72 Australian cents per share, a discount of 13.5 percent to the stock’s Wednesday close on the Australia Stock Exchange. Sells 500 million shares directly to U.S. investors, representing 3.34 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs). The company had 4.09 million ADSs outstanding, according to Thomson Reuters data
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $6.8638, -14.31 pct
Forbes reported on Thursday that a senior FDA official said early heart safety data on the company's diet pill was probably "unreliable," "misleading," and likely "false". John Jenkins, director of the Office of New Drugs, also said the company could face fines, civil penalties, or even withdrawal of its drug, Contrave, from the market if it cannot find a way to set things right. (onforb.es/1EtMTM0)
Orexigen’s shares soared as much as 62 percent on Tuesday after the company released data showing Contrave was safer than placebo.
** VIOLIN MEMORY INC, $3.56, -10.78 pct
The flash storage provider reported a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, due to customer timing issues as company transitions to its new flash storage platform.
** FOOT LOCKER INC, $59.65, +4.59 pct
The footwear retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and sales due to higher traffic in the holiday shopping season. The company’s same-store sales in the quarter rose 10.2 percent, higher than the average analyst estimate of 5.6 percent growth
** YY INC, $59.98, +8.72 pct
The video streaming website operator’s fourth-quarter nearly doubles to $188.7 mln, driven by an increase in paying users across the platform. Revenue from online music and entertainment doubles to $109.0 mln in the quarter. [ID;nL4N0W83DQ]
** FRESH MARKET INC, $41.17, +3.89 pct
The grocery store operator’s fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates, helped by marketing and promotional activities that led to strongest store traffic growth in over 10 quarters. The company’s full-year profit forecast also beat analysts average estimate.
At least seven brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** STAPLES INC, $16.025, -2.88 pct
The No.1 U.S. office supplies retailer reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, hurt by a strong dollar and weak demand for computers and related accessories, and the company said sales in the current quarter would be lower than those in the same quarter last year.
** FINISAR CORP, $22.02, +8.31 pct
The network equipment maker reported better-than-expected Q3 revenue due to higher demand for wireless transceivers and increase in demand from several data communications customers.
** EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS INC, $27.95, -4.41 pct
The specialty drugmaker said it is suspending its 2015 forecast after it found two lots of its anthrax vaccine, BioThrax, were contaminated. The company will make no deliveries of BioThrax in the first quarter and said it quarantined 13 additional lots of vaccine as a precautionary measure while it investigates source of contamination.
** THOR INDUSTRIES INC, $61.405, +0.06 pct
The motorized recreational vehicle maker’s second-quarter profit rose 77 percent, helped by a rise in sales of towables and recreational vehicles. Revenue rose 34 percent.
** BIG LOTS INC, $48.79, +2.03 pct
The discount retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and sales due to higher traffic at its stores. The company’s same-store sales for the quarter rose 2.9 percent, higher than the 1.8 percent growth analysts on average expected.
** SKULLCANDY INC, $10.65, -3.79 pct
The headphone maker reported a better-than-expected 34 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue, helped by strong holiday demand. CRT Capital Group raised its rating to “buy” from “fair value” and price target to $13 from $9. At least three other brokerages also raise price targets. (Compiled by Rohit T.K. in Bengaluru; Edited by Don Sebastian)