October 22, 2013 / 4:43 PM / 5 years ago

MARKET PULSE-Oxygen, Pretium, AMD, Zions, Gentex, TripAdvisor

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Oct 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 at a record intraday high, after weaker-than-expected job creation last month validated expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain its economic stimulus into next year.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.39 percent at 15,452.99. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.39 percent at 1,751.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.03 percent at 3,921.31. The S&P earlier hit a record intraday high at 1,759.33.

** SYMMETRICOM INC, 7.21, up 51.2 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)

** MICROSEMI CORP, $26.59, up 4 pct (9:50 a.m. ET)

Power-management chipmaker Microsemi said it would buy atomic clock equipment maker Symmetricom for about $230 million. Microsemi’s offer of $7.18 per share is a premium of 50 percent to Symmetricom’s closing price on Monday.

** OXYGEN BIOTHERAPEUTICS INC, $2.08, up 48 pct (10:53 a.m. ET)

The medical products and cosmetics maker agreed to acquire some assets of privately held Phyxius Pharma, including the experimental drug levosimendan, for about $4.8 million in stock.

The drug, which is in late-stage trials, is aimed at preventing cardiac surgery patients from developing low cardiac output syndrome.

Upon closing of the deal, Phyxius Pharma CEO John Kelley will become Oxygen’s CEO, the company said.

** PRETIUM RESOURCES INC, $3.37, down 27 pct (11:58 a.m. ET)

The independent consultant that recently quit Pretium Resources’ flagship gold exploration project has accused the company of making “erroneous and misleading” claims, the company said. Pretium said on Tuesday that its management and the other independent consultant on the project, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, have “significant concerns” with the accusations by Strathcona Mineral Services Ltd. Pretium shares have fallen by about 50 percent since Oct. 9, when Pretium first said Strathcona had resigned from the project.

** ZIONS BANCORP, $27.52, down 7.8 pct (11:02 a.m. ET)

The regional lender reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit but two brokerages lowered their price target on the company’s stock citing slower loan growth and weak net interest margins. “With already low provisions and some cost burdens ahead, Zion has fewer levers to offset the weaker revenue starting point”, Jefferies analyst wrote in a note to clients.

Citigroup downgraded the company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to flyonthewall.com. Zions Bancorp reported a 7 percent fall in interest income to $473.4 million on Monday. Net interest margin fell to 3.22 percent, compared with 3.58 percent, a year earlier.

** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES INC, $3.1, down 6.2 pct (11:28 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “underperform” from “market perform,” according to the website theflyonthewall.com

** PLX TECHNOLOGY INC, $5.78, down 7.3 pct (11:20 a.m. ET)

The chipmaker, whose products are used in digital TVs and video surveillance equipment, reported a 4.5 percent drop in third-quarter revenue on Monday.

** GENTEX CORP, $29.25, up 6 pct (10:14 a.m. ET)

The company, which makes camera-based driver-assist systems, said it expects current quarter revenue to increase 20 to 25 percent compared with the year-ago period, and beat analysts’ expectations in the third quarter.

** AMERICAN CAMPUS COMMUNITIES INC, $35.79, down 2 pct (11:25 a.m. ET)

The company, which manages student housing communities, reported third-quarter results below analysts’ expectations as occupancy slipped. The company also said its funds from operations for 2013 were trending towards the lower half of its forecast range of $2.20-$2.26 per share.

** ASTEC INDUSTRIES INC, $34.45, down 6 pct (11:36 a.m. ET)

The specialized equipment maker reported third-quarter results below analysts’ expectations, hurt by weak sales to the aggregate and mining markets. “Continued rainy weather during the quarter in some parts ... hampered many of our customers and a continued lack of clarity on the future of highway funding has made many of our customers hesitant to spend on major equipment purchases,” Chief Executive Don Brock said in a statement on Tuesday.

** TAL EDUCATION GROUP, $16.72, up 5 pct (11.03 a.m ET)

The after-school tutoring services provider in China forecast third-quarter revenue to be $69.5 million to $71.0 million, higher than analysts’ expectations of $61.7 million according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company reported second-quarter revenue of that rose 35.1 percent to $92 million.

** TRIPADVISOR INC, $76.87, up 4 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

Credit Suisse started coverage on the travel website operator with an “outperform” rating and a $90 price target, according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** WAUSAU PAPER CORP, $13.0, up 1.7 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

New York-based investment adviser Starboard Value LP asked Wausau Paper to immediately initiate share repurchase of $100 million or more. Starboard Value, which is the largest shareholder of the paper and paper products manufacturer, asked the company to reduce corporate overhead and relocate its headquarters to Kentucky or Ohio.

** QEP RESOURCES INC, $33.33, up 7.2 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Guggenheim Securities raised its price target on the oil and gas producer’s stock citing higher margin oil growth in the upstream, which the brokerage expects will gain momentum in the coming quarters, and not the immediate dropdown of all remaining midstream assets. Activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC has taken a 7.5 percent stake in QEP Resources, according to regulatory paperwork filed on Monday.

** REALTY INCOME CORP, $40.52, down 1.8 pct (9:46 a.m. ET)

The real estate investment trust priced its upsized offering of 8.5 million shares at $40.63 per share, a discount of 1.5 percent to its Monday close. The company is expected to raise net proceeds of about $329 million from the offering.

** REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP, $9.81, down 2.3 pct (9:47 a.m. ET)

The lender reported weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as it earned lower non-interest income. Non-interest income fell 7 percent to $495 million, while total revenue was down 2.3 percent to $1.32 billion. Mortgage income fell $17 million from the second quarter to $52 million as consumer demand for mortgages slowed due to rising interest rates.

** DARA BIOSCIENCES INC, $0.50, down 15.3 pct (9:48 a.m. ET)

The pharmaceutical company said it will sell 5.1 million shares of the company’s common stock to certain institutional investors at a price of $0.50 per share, which represents a discount of 15 percent to the stock’s Monday close. The direct offering will fetch Dara about $2.6 million in gross proceeds.

** MEI PHARMA INC, $10.50, up 2.8 pct (9:48 a.m. ET)

Stifel Nicolaus raised its price target on the oncology company’s stock to $15 from $11 saying it was “cautiously optimistic” about data from an early-stage trial on its experimental drug ME-344. It now views ME-344 as a viable clinical candidate that “could provide significant upside pending continued clinical success.”

** FOREST OIL CORP, $5.24, down 4.2 pct (9:49 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Morgan Stanley downgraded the oil and gas producer’s stock to “underweight” from “equal weight,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC, $87.12, up 0.4 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

The company reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, and the U.S. insurer announced a $5 billion buyback program, sending its shares up 3 percent in trading before the bell.

** LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL INC, $39.48, up 10.2 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)

The printer maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results on higher revenue from its services and software businesses, and forecast fourth-quarter profit largely above analysts’ estimates.

** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, $128.64, up 2.7 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)

The No. 1 supplier to the Pentagon, reported higher third-quarter earnings on Tuesday despite a 4 percent drop in sales, and lifted its forecast for full-year earnings.

** APPLE, $52a.20, down 0.5 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)

The iPhone maker is expected to reveal a new lineup of iPads on Tuesday intended to shore up its dominance of the tablet computing market and stave off increasingly aggressive challenges from Amazon.com Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Apple may also unveil new laptop computers.

** ALCOA INC, $8.80, up 2.3 pct (9:53 a.m. ET)

The U.S. aluminum producer and Russia’s titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA Corp will form a joint venture to meet growing demand for high-end titanium and aluminum products from aircraft manufacturers.

** DUPONT, $59.95, down 0.8 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

The U.S. chemical maker’s third-quarter revenue rose 5 percent in part due to higher sales of solar panel parts and performance materials.

** NETFLIX INC, $368.23, up 3.7 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

Netflix, the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 in 2013, quadrupled profit in the third quarter as it added a higher-than-expected 1.3 million customers to its subscription video streaming service in the United States.

Several brokerages raised their rating on the company following its results.

** TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC, $39.95, down 2.5 pct (9:55 a.m. ET)

The chipmaker forecast unexpectedly low fourth-quarter revenue on Monday, underscoring concerns about spotty demand for chips for cars, appliances, computers and industrial products.

J.P. Morgan Securities cut its price target on the company’s stock to $42 from $45 after the results.

** TRANSOCEAN LTD, $48.88, up 4.9 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)

The offshore drilling provider said it will replace Dell Inc in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on October 28.

** WHIRLPOOL CORP, $142.48, up 8.7 pct (9:59 a.m. ET)

The company raised its full-year earnings forecast after strong sales of its home appliances in Europe and North America helped the company to more than double its quarterly profit.

** TJX COS INC, $58.26, up 1.2 pct (9:59 a.m. ET)

The owner of low-price apparel retail chains T.J. Maxx and Marshalls raised its third-quarter and full-year profit forecasts, citing strong sales and profit margins quarter-to-date.

** NOKIA OYJ, $7.19, up 0.6 pct (10:00 a.m. ET)

The mobile phone handset maker has unveiled its first tablet and large-screen smartphones, which will form part of Microsoft’s global push to become a leading player in consumer devices when it takes over the Finnish company’s handset business.

** GENTIUM SPA, $30.36, up 3 pct (10:01 a.m. ET)

The Italy-based drugmaker said it received European approval to market its drug, Defitelio, for the treatment of severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease in adults and children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapy. No other treatment for the condition presently exists in Europe or the United States.

Veno-occlusive disease, is a potentially life-threatening condition in which some of the small veins in the liver are obstructed, which typically occurs as a complication of stem cell transplantation.

** DEPOMED INC, $8.00, up 11 pct (10:01 a.m. ET)

** PDL BIOPHARMA INC, $8.05, up 0.2 pct

PDL BioPharma said it acquired the rights to receive royalties and milestones on sales of diabetes drugs licensed by Depomed for $240.5 million in cash. The rights acquired include Depomed’s agreements with Merck & Co Inc on sales of Janumet and with Santarus Inc on sales of Glumetza.

JMP securities raised its price target on Depomed’s stock to $10 from $9, saying the deal with PDL was a significant positive and that he expects the company to continue to pursue acquisition/in-licensing opportunities, further adding to its cash balance.

** RENT-A-CENTER INC, $34.32, down 4.7 pct (10:02 a.m. ET)

The rent-to-own retailer reported a weaker-than-expected profit for the third quarter, hurt by a fall in prices for electronic products and increased promotional activity. The company, which rents out consumer electronics and appliances, to forecast full-year earnings below Wall Street expectations.

** STATE STREET CORP, $67.79, down 2.9 pct (10:02 a.m. ET)

The world’s No. 2 standalone custody bank will please investors if it can continue to show that it has put a lid on compensation costs, a concern held by some of the company’s largest shareholders.

** FREEPORT-MCMORAN COPPER AND GOLD INC, $36.42, up 3.9 pct (10:03 a.m. ET)

The world’s second-largest copper miner is expected to record a drop in year-on-year earnings on the back of lower gold and copper prices. Quarter-on-quarter though, the market is expecting stronger results on higher realized prices and volumes and lower costs after operations were temporarily suspended at its Grasberg mine in the second quarter.

** DELTA AIR LINES INC, $26.06, up 5.6 pct (10:04 a.m. ET)

The U.S. carrier, reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday as revenue rose in the seasonally strong summer period.

** EMC CORP, $24.16, down 4.3 pct (10:04 a.m. ET)

** VMWARE INC, $86.90, up 5 pct

** FUSION-IO INC, $13.26, down 4.6 pct

The world’s largest data storage equipment maker, reported lower-than-expected quarterly results and cut its full-year revenue forecast, hurt by a fall in U.S. federal spending. EMC’s unit, VMware Inc, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday, but said it expected government-related revenue to be flat in the current quarter due to the recent two-week government shutdown.

Fusion is a rival of EMC.

** GOOGLE INC, $1008.91, down 0.5 pct (10:05 a.m. ET)

The search engine giant said it will begin to shield news organizations and human rights groups from cyber attacks as part of a new package of services designed to support “free expression” on the Web. At a presentation in New York, Google also unveiled a new technology called uProxy that allows citizens under some regimes to bypass government censorship or surveillance software to surf the Web.

** CENTENE CORP, $66.70, up 0.9 pct (10:05 a.m. ET)

The health insurer raised its full-year revenue forecast and reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it benefits from expanded coverage, improved rates and a contract in Kansas.

** DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES, $52.54, down 2.2 pct (10:05 a.m. ET)

The payment processing network reported a 7 percent fall in quarterly profit that narrowly missed Wall Street estimates as the credit card company put aside more money to cover defaults.

** TRI POINTE HOMES INC, $15.76, up 5.8 pct (10:06 a.m. ET)

** WEYERHAEUSER CO, $30.36, up 0.8 pct (10:06 a.m. ET)

Homebuiler Tri Pointe, backed by Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group LLC, is in advanced talks to buy Weyerhaeuser’s homebuilding division for about $2.7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

** ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC, $17.60, up 0.8 pct (10:07 a.m. ET)

CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-chairman Brian Kelly control more than a quarter of voting interest in the company after completing their $8.2 billion deal to buy back most of its shares from Vivendi, the videogames publisher said on Monday.

** COACH INC, $49.64, down 8.4 pct (10:07 a.m. ET)

The company, known for its Poppy handbags, posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly revenue as sales slipped in North America, its largest market.

** KIMBERLY-CLARK CORP, $101.96, up 3.2 pct (10:08 a.m. ET)

The maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers posted higher quarterly profit on Tuesday as it cut costs to help mitigate the impact of flat sales.

** FOREST LABORATORIES INC, $45.34, up 2.3 pct (10:09 a.m. ET)

The company reported quarterly earnings before product acquisition costs that were more than twice what analysts expected, as sales of its treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and depression increased.

** NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO, $32.03, up 3.8 pct (10:09 a.m. ET)

The company said it signed an agreement to sell all of its equity interests in Newfield Malaysia holdings to Sapurakencana Petroleum in a deal for $898 million. It plans to use the proceeds from the sale of the offshore Malaysian business to pay down existing debt. Goldman, Sachs & Co is acting as financial advisor on the sale of Newfield’s international businesses.

** RADIOSHACK CORP, $3.00, down 14.8 pct (10:09 a.m. ET)

The U.S. retailer posted a much deeper loss than analysts were expecting and confirmed that it has received commitments for $835 million in new debt financing.

** ILLUMINA INC, $88.53, up 8.3 pct (10:10 a.m. ET)

The gene sequencing products maker’s results beat analysts’ estimates for the eighth straight quarter, and it forecast higher-than-expected earnings for the year.

** E-COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG INC, $10.06, down 13.3 pct (10:52 a.m. ET)

The online retailer said it would report third-quarter revenue below its forecast after cutting back on sales of lower-margin products to improve earnings.

** ARM HOLDINGS PLC, $49.14, down 5.1 pct (10:55 a.m. ET)

The UK-based microchip designer saw weak smartphone demand over the summer, which resulted in its royalty revenue missing expectations and there was no forecast that it would bounce back quickly.

** MEDIVATION INC, $50.46, up 1.2 pct (11:11 a.m. ET)

The company and its Japanese partner Astellas Pharma Inc said their prostate cancer treatment improved patient survival in a late-stage trial testing the drug for use in a wider population.

** PAIN THERAPEUTICS INC, $3.81, up 17.4 pct (11:15 a.m. ET)

Pfizer Inc said it has decided to develop the abuse-resistant painkiller made by its partner Pain Therapeutics, six months after the pharmaceutical giant’s comments raised fears it would drop the drug.

** RUCKUS WIRELESS INC, $17.05, down 6 pct (11:18 a.m. ET)

Goldman Sachs downgraded the WiFi products maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.

** ENDEAVOUR INTERNATIONAL CORP, $6.16, down 13 pct (11:08 a.m. ET)

The oil and gas producer lowered its forecast for third-quarter production, citing delay in Rochelle field development in the United Kingdom and downtime for annual maintenance.

** CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC, $26.80, up 18 pct (11:24 a.m. ET)

The medical device maker said it received the U.S. health regulator’s approval to market its heart device to treat severe accumulation of calcium in coronary arteries.

** BON-TON STORES INC, $10.93, down 4 pct (11:19 a.m. ET)

Brokerage Imperial Capital downgraded the department store operator’s stock to “in line” from “outperform,” saying the temporary U.S. government shutdown and warmer-than-normal fall weather in the United States could hurt comparable-store sales and earnings in the third quarter.

** PENTAIR LTD, $64.09, down 2.5 pct (11.20 a.m ET)

The maker of water management and fluid processing products reported third-quarter earnings below analysts’ estimates as sales in its infrastructure business fell 22 percent. The company also forecast fourth-quarter and full-year earnings below estimates.

** NU SKIN ENTERPRISES INC, $111.87, up 9 pct (10:58 a.m. ET)

The skin-products maker’s third-quarter earnings handily topped Wall Steet estimates on the back of strong demand in China, prompting the company to raise its full-year revenue forecast.

** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD, $16.27, up 9 pct (10:17 a.m. ET)

** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $4.8, up 8 pct

** IAMGOLD CORP, $5.23, up 5 pct

** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $12.22, up 5.3 pct

** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $19.77, up 4.3 pct

** ELDORADO GOLD, $6.65, up 5 pct

Gold rose to a three-week high on Tuesday after weak U.S. jobs figures raised expectations the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus undiminished well into 2014.

Spot gold, lower initially, rebounded 1.3 percent to its highest since Oct. 1 at $1,334.14 an ounce.

** CAPELLA EDUCATION CO, $54.94, down 4.6 pct (11.47 a.m ET)

The online education company said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to decline 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent and total enrollment to fall by 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. The company’s total enrollment in the third quarter fell 1.4 percent and new enrollment dropped 1.3 percent.

** POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC, $130.01, down 4.4 pct (12:02 p.m.)

The company said sales of its motorcycles fell 6 percent during the quarter, despite the highly publicized reintroduction of the Indian brand bike.

** KODIAK OIL & GAS CORP, $13.91, up 4.5 pct (10:18 a.m. ET)

The energy company, which primarily drills for oil in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation, said on Tuesday its third-quarter average daily sales volumes rose 54 percent from the second quarter.

Analysts from SunTrust Robinson raised their price target on the energy company’s stock to $16 from $15, citing Kodiak’s better-than-estimated production.

** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, $4.11, up 1 pct (9:38 A.M. ET)

The steelmaker reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the third quarter and said it expected sequentially better fourth-quarter results as its operations normalize after an unplanned outage in its Ohio facility.

** WATER CORP, $102.39, down 4 pct (11:54 a.m. ET)

The laboratory instruments maker reported third-quarter results below Wall Street estimates due to slower growth in sales from their pharmaceutical base.

Compiled by Sampad Patnaik,; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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