Oct 10 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Wednesday:
Stocks dipped as earnings season began with Alcoa forecasting slower demand for aluminum, while a profit warning from Chevron weighed on the energy sector.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 42.05 points, or 0.31 percent, to 13,431.48. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 1.83 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,439.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.18 points, or 0.04 percent, to 3,066.21.
** ALCOA INC, $8.76, down 4 pct (1119 ET)
The aluminum maker lowered on Tuesday its aluminum consumption growth forecast to 6 percent for 2012. Nomura Equity Research lowered its target price on the stock to $9 from $12 on Wednesday to reflect continued weakness in prices and overproduction in China that could slow growth in the second half.
** CHEVRON CORP, $112.92, down 3.8 pct (1146 ET)
The second-largest U.S. oil company warned on Thursday that third-quarter profits would be “substantially lower” than the previous quarter as a hurricane and maintenance curbed its oil and gas output and a fire hit its refining arm.
** CLEANTECH SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL INC, $3.55, up 39.8 pct (1141 ET)
The company, which makes metal components for the clean energy industry, said it received a $2.2 million order to deliver 23 units of airflow dyeing machines and components.
** Accuride Corp, $3.30, down 27.63 pct (1141 ET)
The auto components maker warned that it will perform below its previously announced 2012 outlook due to weak industry demand. It also said its customers, Navistar International and Paccar Inc, would no longer offer Accuride’s Gunite hub and drum assemblies as standard equipment on their vehicles from the third and fourth quarters respectively.
** FERRO CORP, $2.79, down 23 pct (1142 ET)
The chemicals and coatings company lowered its full-year earnings forecast as it expects losses in its solar pastes business. It now expects adjusted profit between 7 cents and 12 cents per share, down from its earlier forecast of between 15 cents and 20 cents per share. [ID : nWNAB005QV]
** TRUE RELIGION APPAREL INC, $25.50, up 21.4 pct (0937 ET)
The denim maker said it was evaluating strategic alternatives, which could include a possible sale of the company, after receiving indications of interest from third parties.
** SKYWEST INC, $10.01, down 9 pct (1017 ET)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded U.S. regional carrier to “underperform,” Benzinga.com reported.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $33.76, up 2.4 pct (1021 ET)
Piper Jaffray & Co upgraded Teen clothing retailer’s stock to “overweight,” Benzinga.com reported.
** OCZ TECHNOLOGY GROUP INC, $1.94, down 38 pct (1024 ET)
The solid-state hard drive maker warned problems in its customer incentive program would result in a “significant” quarterly loss.
** KERYX BIOPHARMACEUTICALS INC, $2.96, up 7.6 pct (1025 ET)
Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Matt Kaplan increased his price target on the stock to $5 from $3, saying Keryx’s experimental kidney drug, Zerenex, is an “undervalued asset” and “could represent an attractive product to payers.”
** AMARIN CORP, $11.04, down 6.8 pct (1029 ET)
The biopharmaceutical company said the U.S. health regulator is yet to decide on granting exclusive marketing rights to its heart drug Vascepa.
** HELEN OF TROY LTD, $28.52, down 10.7 pct (0938 ET)
The consumer products maker cut its full-year 2013 profit view for the second time this year as it continues to expect a challenging sales environment. The company also reported lower-than-expected third-quarter profit.
** GLU MOBILE INC, $2.95, down 10.3 pct (0952 ET)
The company, which makes games for smartphones, forecast third-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates and said, the games it released in the quarter were not as successful as some of its prior breakout hits.
** AVNET INC, $25.87, down 9.45 pct (0937 ET)
The electronic parts distributor forecast its first-quarter revenue at the lower end of its prior forecast as customers delayed spending.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, $76.57, up 3.3 pct (1056 ET)
The world’s largest retailer has lined up $400 million in U.S. layaway sales in less than a month, half of the amount shoppers put on hold for all of the 2011 holiday season, as the world’s largest retailer makes a concerted push to entice shoppers before the typical start of the holiday season.
** YUM BRANDS INC, $71.14, up 8.4 pct (0940 ET)
The parent company of KFC raised its full-year outlook on Tuesday after sales in China held up despite cooling economic growth in that market, the restaurant company’s largest.
** ORASUR TECHNOLOGIES INC, $10.83, up 6.1 pct (0950 ET)
The diagnostic test maker said its over-the-counter in-home test for HIV is now available to consumers across the United States.
** H&R BLOCK INC, $16.76, down 4.9 pct (1037 ET)
The U.S. tax preparer said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its banking unit to avoid heavy costs associated with stricter supervision under the Dodd-Frank Act.
** DARLING INTERNATIONAL INC, $16.62, down 5.3 pct (0942 ET)
BMO Capital Markets downgraded the bakery waste recycling solution provider’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform” and cut its price target to $18 from $21.
** GENTIUM SPA, $10.08, down 4.5 pct (0941 ET)
The company said European health regulators sought further information during the review of its experimental drug for treating complications related to stem-cell transplantation, delaying the approval of the drug.
The company, which anticipated a recommendation on approval of the drug as early as the third quarter of this year, now expects a recommendation by the first quarter of 2013.
** WABCO HOLDINGS INC, $57.49, down 4 pct (0942 ET)
Robert W. Baird & Co downgraded to “neutral” the company, which provides electronic, mechanical and mechatronic products for the commercial truck, trailer, bus and passenger car manufacturers.
** CUMMINS INC, $87.55, down 3.6 pct (0939 ET)
The U.S. engine maker lowered its 2012 forecast for the second time this year, citing delays in customer spending due to a weakening global economy, and said it would cut up to 1,500 jobs.
Several brokerages, including Jefferies & Co, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse, cut their price targets on the stock.
** FEDEX CORP, $88.53, up 3.4 pct (0940 ET)
The second-largest package delivery company said on Tuesday that it plans to sharply cut costs at its underperforming express air freight and services divisions, seeking to improve profits at those operations by $1.7 billion over the next four years.
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, $102.43, up 2.8 pct (0938 ET)
The company posted a 27 percent jump in its fourth-quarter profit, as the U.S. warehouse chain’s sales continued to rise and it got a lift from higher membership fees.
** AURICO GOLD INC , $7.55, up 17.6 pct (1134 ET)
The Canadian miner said on Tuesday it agreed to sell the Ocampo mine in Mexico, as well as adjacent exploration projects and a 50 percent stake in its Orion project, to tycoon Carlos Slim’s Minera Frisco for $750 million.
Canaccord Genuity raised the company to “buy.”
** VIACOM INC, $54.76, down 2.5 pct (0943 ET)
Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded to “underperform” the New York media giant, whose popular networks include MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
** HOST HOTELS AND RESORTS INC, $15.84, up 2 pct (0943 ET)
The company reported third-quarter operating performance.
** OPTIMER PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $10.97, up 1.3 pct (0941 ET)
The biopharmaceutical company sold its stake in its subsidiary, Optimer Biotechnology Inc, for $60 million to the unit’s current shareholders and said it will use the funds to market its diarrhea drug, Dificid.
Jefferies analyst Eun Yang said the company’s new initiative to revive the growth of Dificid was reassuring and maintained her “buy” rating on the stock.
** BEST BUY CO INC, $17.91, up 0.4 pct (0943 ET)
The company’s chief financial officer, James Muehlbauer, is leaving the embattled retailer after more than a decade, the company said on Tuesday.
** MICROSOFT CORP, $29.13, down 0.5 pct (0944 ET)
The company’s Chief Executive Steve Ballmer got a lower bonus than last year‘s, partly for flat sales of Windows and his failure to ensure that the company provided a choice of browser to some European customers.
** BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC, $60.81, up 0.5 pct ( ET)
The healthcare products company gave a conservative long-term outlook on Tuesday, largely in line with analyst expectations, saying its focus on treatments for unmet medical needs would help insulate it from macroeconomic pressures.
** ESCO TECHNOLOGIES INC, $34.11, down 9.3 pct (0945 ET)
The engineered products maker said it will shut an Illinois plant as it looks to improve margins in its test segment and take a related $3 million charge.
Canaccord Genuity cut its price target on the company’s stock to $34 from $37.
** LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC, $2.46, up 5.6 pct (1111 ET)
Britain’s financial regulator relaxed capital and liquidity rules on banks to stimulate lending and boost the economy. (Complied by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore) (firstname.lastname@example.org, within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5783, Reuters messaging: email@example.com)