(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday after a three-session decline on the S&P 500, but an unexpected drop in durable goods orders in December and disappointing iPhone sales at tech giant Apple kept investors on edge ahead of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.47 percent at 15,911.64, the S&P 500 was up 0.42 percent at 1,789.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.06 percent at 4,081.309.
** APPLE INC, $508.958, -7.55 pct
The world’s most valuable technology company needs a cheaper iPhone to keep pace with low-cost rivals, analysts said, after the company’s smartphone sales fell short of lofty expectations in the holiday shopping season.
At least 14 brokerages cut their price targets on Apple, after the company’s weak revenue forecast for the current quarter renewed fears about Chinese smartphone demand and a tepid global market.
** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $20.398, +5.14 pct
New York-based hedge fund Casablanca Capital LP picked up a 5.2 percent stake in the iron ore producer and urged it to spin off international assets and double its annual dividend.
** COMCAST CORP, $52.9001, +0.78 pct
The largest U.S. cable provider posted higher fourth-quarter revenue, as it added quarterly cable video subscribers for the first time in more than six years.
** CORNING INC, $17.12, -6.04 pct
The specialty glass maker said LCD glass prices would decline further in the current quarter, raising concerns about the growth prospects of its television display business, which brings in more than a third of the company’s revenue.
** ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO, $36.46, +5.35 pct
The teen apparel retailer stripped Chief Executive Mike Jeffries of his chairman duties and abandoned a plan aimed at blocking hostile buyout bids.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $8.02, +1.39 pct
The drugmaker said it granted an Australian company exclusive rights to market its blood cancer drug, Iclusig, in Australia.
Specialised Therapeutics Australia Pty Ltd will be responsible for getting approval for Iclusig in Australia and will assist Ariad in regulatory filings for approval. Ariad said it filed its marketing application for Iclusig with Australian regulators in the third quarter of 2013. The company expects to get approval in the fourth quarter of 2014.
** PFIZER INC, $30.4, +2.49 pct
The company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by higher sales of drugs for cancer, nerve pain and arthritis, and forecast 2014 earnings in line with Wall Street estimates.
** D.R. HORTON INC, $22.97, +9.69 pct
** PULTEGROUP INC, $19.3, +3.15 pct
** TOLL BROTHERS INC, $36.14, +3.26 pct
** LENNAR CORP, $38.41, +4.18 pct
** KB HOME, $18.11, +3.19 pct
** M/I HOMES INC, $14.28, +0.07 pct
Homebuilder D.R. Horton’s sales pace picked up in January ahead of what it said would be a “very strong” spring selling season as Americans become more comfortable with higher mortgage rates in a stabilizing U.S. economy.
U.S. consumer confidence rose in January as consumers grew more optimistic about both business conditions and the job market, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday.
** RENT-A-CENTER INC, $24.88, -20.31 pct
The rent-to-own retailer forecast full-year earnings way below analysts’ estimates, after reporting lower-than-expected results for the fourth quarter on Monday, mainly due to weak sales to a large customer, increased competition in the United States and a sharp rise in operating expenses.
** SANMINA-SCI CORP, $16.77, +13.31 pct
The electronic components manufacturer reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast second-quarter profit largely above analysts’ estimates on Monday.
At least two brokerages raised their rating on the company’s stock on Tuesday.
** EASTMAN CHEMICAL CO, $75.02, +0.86 pct
The chemical company said it would buy the assets of oil major BP’s global aviation turbine engine oil business.
The deal includes a production facility in Lindin, New Jersey, specialized laboratory equipment located in Naperville and a long-term supply agreement for products related to the acquired business that BP will use to serve industrial markets. Eastman did not disclose the deal value.
** TWIN DISC INC, $23.7, -7.96 pct
The power transmission equipment maker reported a 13 percent fall in second-quarter revenue and said it expected the North American pressure-pumping market to remain weak for several quarters.
** TAL EDUCATION GROUP, $24.09, +13.31 pct
The K-12 after-school tutoring services provider said it bought a minority stake in Babytree Inc, which operates an online resource platform for new parents, for about $23.5 million.
** WATERS CORP, $110.18, +7.07 pct
The analytical instrument maker reported an 8 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue due to improved pharmaceutical demand along with continued strength in the global academic and industrial chemical markets.
** OCWEN FINANCIAL CORP, $44.93, -3.60 pct
The largest non-bank mortgage servicer forecast fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.
** NQ MOBILE INC, $15.94, +4.66 pct
** YY INC, $65.14, +14.30 pct
** BAIDU INC, $162.79, +2.59 pct
** E-COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG, $9.46, +7.01 pct
** SINA CORP, $72, +2.89 pct
** BITAUTO HOLDINGS, $31.16, +8.69 pct
Morgan Stanley raised its stake in Chinese mobile security software company NQ Mobile to 6.3 percent from 5.2 percent.
Morgan Stanley analyst Philip Wan said a pullback in Chinese companies' shares due to concerns about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's ruling on China audit firms offers a buying opportunity in stocks including YY, E-Commerce China Dangdang and Baidu, according to StreetInsider.com. (link.reuters.com/pyn46v)
A SEC judge ruled last week that the Chinese units of the world’s top accounting firms, including KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, should be suspended from auditing U.S.-listed Chinese companies.
** SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO, $21.67, +8.79 pct
The logistics company reported a higher-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, partly due to higher revenue from its truckload business.
** SHARPS COMPLIANCE CORP, $5.2, +6.34 pct
The company, which disposes medical waste and unused dispensed medications, reported a 34 percent rise in second-quarter revenue due to higher demand from the pharmaceutical, professional, retail and home health care markets.
** TRANSGLOBE ENERGY CORP, $7.33, -7.68 pct
The Canadian oil and gas company, which has operations in Egypt and Yemen, reported a 7 percent fall in its gross proved and probable oil reserves in 2013 as its reserves were depleted at a much greater pace than they could be replaced.
** NUCOR CORP, $48.9, +0.99 pct
The largest U.S. steel producer said its earnings rose in the fourth quarter, helped by stronger sales and shipments as well as a non-cash gain related to deferred tax balances.
** CAMBREX CORP, $18.86, +16.06 pct
First Analysis Securities analyst Steven Schwartz raised his rating on the life sciences company’s stock to “overweight” from “equal-weight” on Monday.
Schwartz said Cambrex has an agreement to manufacture and supply active pharmaceutical ingredients for Gilead Sciences Inc’s hepatitis C drug, and that Gilead could give preference to the company for the manufacture of ingredients for its other drugs in development.
** J&J SNACK FOODS CORP, $92.32, +8.33 pct
The snack foods company reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by strong demand from food service companies for its soft pretzels, frozen beverage and desserts.
** VIMPELCOM, $10.21, -12.21 pct
Russia’s third biggest mobile operator said it would slash its dividend to pay down debt accumulated through an aggressive expansion drive, unnerving investors and raising questions about its future plans.
** TILE SHOP HOLDING INC, $13.785, -6.35 pct
The stone tiles retailer estimated its fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations, citing low consumer traffic and cold weather in key markets and the company forecast 2014 results below analysts’ estimates.
Tile Shop also said an audit committee ended its investigation into certain business relationships of a former employee who was the chief executive’s brother-in-law. The retailer said the employee’s services were terminated effective Jan. 1 for violation of the company’s business ethics policy.
Brokerage Baird cut its rating on Tile Shop’s stock to “neutral” from “outperform.”
** ALIMERA SCIENCES INC, $6.94, +12.66 pct
The biopharmaceuticals company said it obtained commitments from some institutional investors to buy about $37.5 million of its common stock in a private placement.
Alimera said the proceeds from the placement would be used to fund the marketing of its eye drug, Iluvien, in Europe and to pursue regulatory approval for Iluvien in the United States.
** MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS INC, $107.22, +4.32 pct
** TEXAS INDUSTRIES INC, $73.95, +3.37 pct
Construction material supplier Martin Marietta said it would buy Texas Industries for about $2 billion in stock to strengthen its cement business and increase its presence in high-growth construction markets such as Texas and California.
** SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY PLC, $51.08, -12.01 pct
The hard-disk drive maker’s second-quarter results missed analysts’ estimates as growth slowed in its cloud storage business.
** ROCKET FUEL INC, $64.43, +11.49 pct
The advertisement technology company launched a $290 million follow-on offering on Monday. The offering of 5 million shares will be priced on Thursday. (link.reuters.com/jyn46v)
** A.O. SMITH CORP, $47.45, -3.50 pct
The company, which makes water heating equipment, reported weaker-than-expected results for the fourth quarter and said it was cautiously optimistic about demand in 2014.
** KRATON PERFORMANCE POLYMERS INC, $24.68, +15.38 pct
The polymer maker said it would combine with the styrenic block copolymer operations of Taiwan-based LCY Chemical Corp .
Kraton said its shareholders and LCY would each own 50 percent of the outstanding shares of the combined company.
** ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD, $49.48, +3.00 pct
At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the cruise operator’s stock a day after it forecast a stronger-than-expected profit for 2014 as more people signed up for cruises at higher prices in Europe and Asia.
JP Morgan raised its price target on the stock to $53 from $50, while Investec raised its price target to $56 from $53.
Both maintained their ratings on the stock.
** IMPRIMIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $8.32, +10.05 pct
The pharmaceuticals company said it would exhibit its experimental eye drugs at a medical meeting in Mexico between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4.
** AMERICA FIRST MULTIFAMILY INVESTORS LP, $5.89, -7.10 pct
The company, which deals with federally tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds, said on Monday that it commenced a public offering of 7 million shares.
Deutsche Bank Securities will be the lead book-running manager for the offering and Oppenheimer & Co will be the co-book-running manager.
America First said it planned to use the proceeds to buy more mortgage revenue bonds and for other investments.
** RIO TINTO PLC, $53.29, +2.58 pct
A small Canadian aluminum producer is in talks to take over the company’s aluminum casthouse in Shawinigan, Quebec, rescuing the plant from closure at the end of this year, the fund’s project leader told Reuters on Monday.
** CIRRUS LOGIC, $18.74, -4.49 pct
** ARM HOLDINGS PLC , $46.89, -1.60 pct
** QUALCOMM INC, $71.93, -1.74 pct
** SKYWORKS SOLUTIONS INC, $29.595, -2.58 pct
Shares of Apple’s suppliers slumped after the technology company reported on Monday lower-than-expected holiday iPhone sales and gave a weak revenue forecast.
Apple accounts for 85 percent of audio chipmaker Cirrus’s revenue. Chipmaker ARM licenses its designs for use in Apple products.
** T. ROWE PRICE GROUP INC, $80.27, +4.91 pct
The asset manager said its quarterly profit jumped 24 percent beating estimates as healthy inflows to retirement products offset outflows from other investment areas.
** OSHKOSH CORP, $55.79, +8.52 pct
The company posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecast, as strong sales of its aerial access equipment to the construction industry offset a sharp decline in sales of tactical vehicles to the defense industry.
** THERMOGENESIS CORP, $2.12, -13.47 pct
The company said it planned to sell about 3.33 million common shares at $2 per share. Buyers will also receive warrants to buy up to about 1.66 million common shares at an exercise price of $2.81 per share.
** THE CHEF‘S WAREHOUSE INC, $24.97, -8.57 pct
BB&T Capital Markets cut its rating on the food distributor’s stock to “hold” from “buy,” after the company estimated weaker-than-expected quarterly results, citing severe winter in northeast and midwest United States and margin pressures at its Michaels’ Finer Meats business.
The company also said it expected a 2 cents per share impact on fourth-quarter earnings due to certain misstatements related to inventory balances at its Michael’s Finer Meats business.
BB&T cut its 2014 earnings forecast for the company to 88 cents per share from 98 cents.
** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC, $31.43, +4.14 pct
The world’s biggest carrier following a merger with US Airways last year reported a loss of $2 billion, or $8.66 a share, in the fourth quarter after charges tied to its reorganization.
When quarterly results for the former American Airlines and US Airways were combined, the company earned a profit of $436 million, or 59 cents a share, for the most recent quarter.
** LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL INC, $37.68, +7.90 pct
The printer maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by higher revenue from its managed print services and software businesses.
** KULICKE AND SOFFA INDUSTRIES INC, $11.945, +10.60 pct
The semiconductor and LED assembly equipment maker reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and said a shift in product mix and adjusting its manufacturing capacity by over 50 percent enabled the company to improve gross margins by 330 basis points to 48.5 percent.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $6.5, -0.15 pct
The company said it extended its poison pill until 2017, and lowered the threshold at which it would dilute the holdings of any shareholder, to prevent a takeover of the department store chain.
** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, $6.89, +15.03 pct
The steelmaker reported a net income for the fourth quarter, compared with a loss a year earlier, as it benefited from higher automotive sales and increased product prices. The company also said it did not expect any significant costs in 2014 from the unplanned outage at an Ohio blast furnace that had affected its third- and fourth-quarter results.
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, $6.1, +0.83 pct
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $39.26, +5.03 pct
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $14.64, +1.39 pct
** JINKOSOLAR HOLDING CO LTD, $30.71, +5.53 pct
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $8.95, +2.29 pct
** RENESOLA LTD, $3.36, +3.38 pct
** FIRST SOLAR INC, $49.71, +1.78 pct
** SOLARCITY CORP, $73.05, +4.45 pct
** SUNPOWER CORP, $32.25, +3.97 pct
Jefferies analysts reiterated their positive stand on the solar industry on Monday, saying that despite confusion over Chinese solar installation targets and the United States-China trade war, solar companies are expected to benefit from improving demand for photovoltaic cells in 2014. “Poly (polysilicon), cell and wafer prices are all showing signs of a bull market,” the analysts wrote in a note.
** YRC WORLDWIDE INC, $18.7, +6.55 pct
The struggling trucking company will meet lenders on Tuesday to discuss refinancing its existing asset-based loans and term loan with a new $450 million asset-based facility and a new $700 million term loan facility.
This will extend the maturity of the company’s debt and reduce cash interest expense.
** SILICON MOTION TECHNOLOGY CORP, $17, +14.25 pct
The chipmaker reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter on Monday and said the testing of its transceiver for Samsung Electronics’ 2014 smartphone lineup was near completion.
** OLIN CORP, $25.43, -5.46 pct
The chemical maker forecast first-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates, saying it expected lower earnings from its chloralkali business.
Olin said it expected to earn 30-35 cents per share in the first quarter. Analysts on average were expecting 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of 31 cents per share, in line with the average analyst estimate.
** POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC, $127.948, -3.14 pct
The Minneapolis-based company, which makes snowmobiles and motorcycles, forecast 2014 earnings below market expectations, even after posting a 23 percent jump in quarterly profit.
Polaris said it expected 2014 earnings from continuing operations to be in the range of $6.17 to $6.37 per share. Analysts were expecting $6.67 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PDC ENERGY INC, $50.6, +11.82 pct
The oil and gas producer said total proved reserves rose to 266 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from 193 mmboe, a year earlier.
PDC Energy said it planned to ramp up the pace of development by adding a fifth drilling rig in Wattenberg field in Colorado in the second quarter of 2014 and a second drilling rig in the Utica in the second half of 2014.
** EAGLE ROCK ENERGY PARTNERS LP, $5.79, -1.53 pct
The oil and gas company said its fourth-quarter results were hurt by severe winter conditions and one-time expenses. Eagle Rock will report its quarterly results on Feb. 26.
** FIRST CASH FINANCIAL, $51.51, -7.22 pct
The pawn store operator reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results, hurt by fewer holiday shopping days and adverse weather conditions in key markets.
The company said it still expected revenue to be affected by gold pricing and reductions in payday lending revenues. First Cash’s initial 2014 earnings forecast of $3.00-$3.15 per share from continuing operations was much below the average analyst estimates of $3.38 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, $13.415, -7.74 pct
Chardan Capital Markets downgraded the chipmaker's stock to "neutral," saying investor enthusiasm over Google taking a stake in the company to build a commercial version of Google Glass is overdone as the product is "unlikely to witness mass adoption," according to Barron's. (link.reuters.com/cyn46v)
** MICTOSTRATEGY INC, $129.34, +11.26 pct
The company, which makes software to manage mobile applications and leverage data from social media, posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Monday, helped by a 22 percent increase in product licenses and subscription services revenue. (Compiled by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)