WALL STREET DIPS, FOCUS SHIFTS BACK TO FISCAL, EUROPE WORRIES
U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, erasing earlier gains, as strong earnings from technology bellwether Cisco weren’t enough to offset investor anxiety over U.S. budget negotiations and Europe’s economic troubles.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.70 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 0.55 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.40 percent. (1257 ET)
** FACEBOOK INC, $21.61, up 9 pct (1245 ET)
The social networking company faces a huge stock lock-up expiration on Wednesday as roughly 800 million shares become available for sale. More than 4.6 million shares had changed hands in trading before the bell by 0900 ET.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $39.84, up 28 pct (1246 ET)
The teen clothing retailer posted higher quarterly profit on Wednesday as the company got help from lower cotton prices and improved demand in international markets, prompting the company to forecast yearly earnings above Wall Street’s estimates.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, $13.49, up 3 pct (1246 ET)
FBR Capital Markets analyst Anne Andreeva said strong results and better inventoy levels at peer Abercrombie & Fitch Co, which reported results earlier on Wednesday, bode well for the sector as a whole.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, $17.83, up 6 pct (1246 ET)
** JDS UNIPHASE CORP, $11.33, up 4 pct (1246 ET)
** F5 NETWORKS INC, $90.15, up 4 pct (1246 ET)
** JUNIPER NETWORKS INC, $17.88, up 3 pct (1247 ET)
** CAVIUM INC, $32.45, up 6 pct (1247 ET)
Cisco’s results surprised investors who were expecting a weak European economy and cuts in enterprise and government spending to hurt results.
Shares of other network equipment companies such as JDS Uniphase, F5 Networks, Cavium and Juniper Networks also rose.
** STAPLES INC, $11.45, up 2 pct (1247 ET)
The largest U.S. office supply chain, reported a slightly better than expected quarterly profit, as costs declined and sales in North America held up, although weakness in Europe and Australia hit overall revenue.
** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, $1.98, down 5 pct (1249 ET)
The chipmaker has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to explore options, which could include a sale, as it struggles to find a role in an industry increasingly focused on mobile devices and away from traditional PCs, according to three sources familiar with the situation.
** WOODWARD INC, $35.79, up 12 pct (1249 ET)
The aerospace and defence supplier’s quarterly profit topped market expectations on Tuesday and the company forecast better-than-expected full-year 2013 results.
** ZYNGA INC $2.15, up 2 pct (1249 ET)
The troubled game publisher announced sweeping changes across its upper ranks on Tuesday, including the departure of chief financial officer, David Wehner, as it sought to revive its business and quell months of management turmoil.
** MOSAIC CO, $48.80, down 4 pct (1250 ET)
The fertilizer producer cut its forecast for phosphate and potash sales on Tuesday, citing uncertain supply contracts with China and India.
Brokerage Canaccord Genuity cut its rating on the stock to “hold” from “buy.”
** MAKO SURGICAL CORP, $13.52, up 2 percent (1250 ET)
The maker of surgical devices said it sold about 3 million shares of its common stock at $13.15 per share in an underwritten public offering.
The company plans to use proceeds from the offering for marketing, selling, general and administrative activities and research and development activities.
** ZAZA ENERGY CORP, $1.91, up 6 pct (1250 ET)
The oil and gas company said it has entered into an agreement to sell its French arm ZaZa Energy France SAS to a unit of Canada’s Vermilion Energy Inc for about $85.8 million to focus on its core Eaglebine and Eagle Ford plays in Texas, United States.
** GREENBRIER COS, $16.99, up 1.6 pct (1251 ET)
Activist investor Carl Icahn reported a 9.99 percent stake in the railcar maker, prompting talk he may revive a failed 2008 bid for the company and pushing its shares up 20 percent.
** IAMGOLD CORP , $12.23, down 18 pct (1251 ET)
The Canadian gold miner’s adjusted net earnings, which the company said exclude items not indicative of underlying operating performance, were $60.2 million, or 16 cents per share, down from $112.4 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 10 percent to $386.8-million for the quarter.
** SYNERGY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $3.77, up 21 pct (1251 ET)
The gastrointestinal disorder drugmaker posted a slightly narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss on Tuesday and said it would release data from a key study of its drug to treat chronic idiopathic constipation in January 2013.
** Capital Product Partners LP $6.55, down 4.5 pct (1251 ET)
Analysts said bankruptcy at Overseas Shipholding Group could bring down above-market charter-in rates, including those from Capital Product Partners LP. Debt-laden Overseas Shipholding, the world’s No. 2 independent tanker operator by fleet size, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after talks with lenders over a $1.5 billion facility foundered.
** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP, $4.75, down 13 pct (1252 ET)
The ethanol maker posted a quarterly loss as a historic drought this summer drove corn prices higher. Forty percent of the U.S. corn crop is used to make ethanol.
Biofuel posted a net loss of $9.8 million, or $1.88 per share, for the third-quarter, compared with a profit of $2.2 million, or $0.36 per share, a year earlier.
** ASURE SOFTWARE INC $5.80, down 16 pct (1252 ET)
The HR software maker reported a third-quarter loss and cut its revenue forecast for the current quarter and the full year, citing delays in recognizing certain income.
** MBIA INC, $7.13, up 5 pct (1253 ET)
Bank of America Corp offered to buy some of its bonds, which could thwart the insurer’s effort to change their terms and avoid what it has called a possible default.
Analysts said the sell off was overdone after MBIA’s shares fell 19 percent on Wednesday following the BofA offer.
** AVEO PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.31, down 13 pct (1253 ET)
The company will not get U.S. regulatory approval to market its lead drug, a kidney cancer treatment, said Stifel analyst Brian Klein and started coverage of Aveo stock with a “sell” rating.
The analyst cited discrepancy in overall survival rates of patients who were tested with Aveo’s drug in a key study.
** ROYALE ENERGY INC, $3.20, up 14 pct (1253 ET)
The company said the state of Alaska has published the results of Alaska’s North Slope Areawide 2012W Lease Sale, and ConocoPhillips acquired acreage adjoining its block 613 for $171.93 per acre. Royale said overall average cost per acre is $27.21 in that area.
** HESKA CORPORATION, $8.08, down 4 percent (1254 ET)
The maker of veterinary diagnostic products on Tuesday reported a third-quarter loss instead of the profit that analysts were expecting as sales of its Element DC diagnostic blood analyzer struggled to pick up. The device was launched in early October and the company admitted that placements have been below its own expectations.
** SPECTRA ENERGY PARTNERS LP, $27.51, down 4 pct (1254 ET)
The company said it was pricing its 4.8 million unit public offering at $27.60 per unit
** JUST ENERGY GROUP INC , $9.23, down 9 pct (1254 ET)
Brokerage National Bank Financial cut its rating on the energy company’s stock to “sector underperform” from “sector perform.”
** VIPSHOP HOLDINGS, $12.87, up 14 pct (1255 ET)
The Chinese online retailer’s revenue growth for the third-quarter exceeded its own expectations and the company posted an adjusted profit for the first time since its inception.
** STAMPS.COM, $24.32, down 11 pct (1255 ET)
The company's website, which sells shipping software and postage online, was down for four days in November due to a software upgrade that didn't work and has since had two additional outages, theflyonthewall.com reported, quoting brokerage Craig Hallum. (link.reuters.com/zuk93t)
** HOLLYSYS AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES LTD, $9.61, down 6 pct (1255 ET)
The company, which supplies automation and control systems mainly in China, posted lower-than-expected first quarter results due to higher costs and reported a 42 percent fall in revenue at it’s rail transportation business.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $2.85, down 12.3 pct (1331 ET)
Deutsche Bank cut its price target on the Chinese solar panel maker to $4 from $5 after the company slashed its estimates for third-quarter shipments and gross margins on weak prices.
“We expect challenging profitability outlook and weaker-than-expected end market development to remain an overhang on the shares,” the brokerage said in a research note on Tuesday. Trina Solar will report third-quarter earnings on Nov. 20.
** GOODRICH PETROLEUM CORP, $7.98 down 11 pct (1256 ET)
Standard & Poors cut its credit rating on the energy company’s stock to “B-“ from “B.” (Compiled by Tej Sapru in Bangalore)