(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 Thursday after data pointed to a slowly improving labor market and subdued inflation, keeping intact most investors' expectations that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to scale back stimulus until early next year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.61 percent , the S&P 500 0.77 percent and the Nasdaq Composite 1.08 percent.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $38.83, up 3 pct (9:31 a.m. ET)
The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday it had completed the sale of 70.2 million shares of General Motors stock and planned to sell its remaining 31.1 million shares by year-end, depending on market conditions.
** TARGET CORP, $63.87, down 4 pct (9:32 a.m. ET)
The discount chain blamed “constrained” consumer spending for a tepid rise in third-quarter comparable sales, and lowered its full-year profit forecast as a Canadian expansion proved costlier than expected.
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, $19.85, up 5.6 pct (1:19 p.m. ET)
Greenlight Capital President David Einhorn said he has taken a stake in Micron because the chipmaker stands to benefit from industry consolidation, and defended his investment in Apple Inc by citing the company’s software sales.
Einhorn also said he remains short on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc .
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, $60.82, down 1.4 pct (12:46 p.m. ET)
The company, which operates its eponymous department stores and the Kmart discount chain, reported a wider quarterly net loss as sales fell at both chains and it invested in more promotions targeting rewards members.
** COMBIMATRIX CORP CBMX.O, $3.55, up 52 pct (10:07 a.m. ET)
The molecular diagnostics company entered into an agreement to provide its laboratory testing services to more than 14 million members of healthcare provider America’s Choice Provider Network. The company did not disclose any financial details.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, $2.01, down 19 pct (2:26 p.m. ET)
The Calgary-based company’s lead cancer drug did not show as much improvement in survival rates of patients with head-and-neck cancer as expected by investors.
** GAIN CAPITAL HOLDINGS INC, $8.70, down 18.2 pct (10:49 a.m. ET)
The online forex trader said it will offer $65 million aggregate principal amount of its convertible senior notes in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers. The company plans to use the net proceeds to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.
** BON-TON STORES INC, $14.28, up 16.55 pct (10:16 a.m. ET)
The department store operator maintained its full-year earnings forecast of between 15 cents and 75 cents per share, largely above analysts’ expectations of 46 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The reaffirmation comes amid weak consumer spending in the United States.
** GLOBUS MARITIME LTD, $2.98, up 16 pct (10.40 a.m. ET)
The dry bulk shipping company reported a surprise quarterly profit, and the company said drybulk demand would outpace growth in vessel supply, helping push up freight rates in 2014.
** GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS INC, $72, up 16 pct (12:46 p.m. ET)
The K-cup coffee pods maker said it expected stronger revenue in the second half of its fiscal 2014 as it converts unlicensed coffee pod makers to licensed partners. The company, however, gave a cautious current-quarter forecast, citing a transition to a new brewing system and weakness in U.S. consumer spending.
** BAZAARVOICE INC, $7.53, down 15 pct (12:47 p.m. ET)
The consumer review aggregator’s second-quarter net loss widened as total operating costs rose nearly 27 percent. The company also said its Chief Executive Stephen Collins will step down effective January.
** LIQUIDITY SERVICES INC, $20.74, down 20 pct (12:49 p.m. ET)
The online auction marketplace forecast a much lower-than-expected earnings for the current quarter and the full year as its business was hurt by lower customer spending.
** CARDIOME PHARMA CORP, $5.67, up 16 pct (12:49 p.m. ET)
The Canadian biopharmaceutical company said its heart drug, Brinavess, was recommended as the first option for treating irregular heart rhythms by Europace, a European cardiological journal. The company had earlier said it plans to start selling Brinavess in all EU markets by the start of 2014.
** STEIN MART INC, $14.45, down 10 pct (1:01 p.m. ET)
The Florida-based apparel retailer forecast lower fourth-quarter gross margins as it expects operating expenses to rise.
** IMPERVA INC, $41.34, up 10 pct (1:17pm ET)
Barclays Capital started coverage on the data security company with an “overweight” rating, saying that Imperva is a leader in the emerging space of data center application security The brokerage expects the company’s revenue to grow 25 percent in 2014.
Imperva’s stock was trading nearly one-and-a-half times its average 10-day volume, making it one of the top percentage gainers on the New York Stock Exchange.
** EVOGENE LTD, $16.25, up 10 pct (12:50 p.m. ET)
Shares of the Israel-based company rose about 12 percent in their U.S. market debut, valuing the plant biotechnology company at about $400 million.
** MEDIDATA SOLUTIONS, $116.86, up 7.7 pct (12:42 p.m. ET)
The company, which provides cloud-based services for clinical research, said it is increasing its long-term revenue growth target to a range of 20-25 percent.
** EXCO RESOURCES INC, $5.53, up 7 pct (10:32 a.m. ET)
The gas producer said Chief Executive Douglas Miller had resigned effective Nov. 20 but did not give any reason for his departure. The company forecast capital spending of up to $368 million for 2014. Exco in August halved its 2013 budget to $107.7 million.
** GREENBRIER COMPANIES INC, $29.07, down 7 pct (1:10 p.m. ET)
** AMERICAN RAILCAR INDUSTRIES, INC $41.44, down 8 pct
** TRINITY INDUSTRIES INC, $49.98, down 6.6 pct
Raymond James & Associates Inc cut its rating on the stocks of the makers of railroad freight cars as it expects top line growth, margin expansion and earnings growth to be under pressure.
The brokerage cut the rating on the stock of Greenbrier to “underperform” from “market perform” while it downgraded its rating on the stocks of American Railcar and Trinity Industries to “underperform” from “outperform”.
** SPECTRUM BRAND HOLDINGS INC, $68.39, up 7 pct (12:16 p.m. ET)
The consumer products maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results and said it expects 2014 sales to increase at or above the rate of U.S. GDP, compared with fiscal 2013 net sales.
** CERAGON NETWORKS, $2.58, up 7.5 pct (11:10 a.m. ET)
The Israeli telecom equipment maker’s underwritten public offering of 14 million shares was priced at $2.40 per share, the stock’s Wednesday close price. The company expects to receive net proceeds of about $31.4 million, assuming no exercise of the overallotment option.
** GOLD FIELDS LTD, $4.14, down 5 pct (10:40 a.m. ET)
** SEABRIDGE GOLD INC, $7.12, down 5 pct
** PRIMERO MINING CORP, $5.02, down 5 pct
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $3.82, down 4 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $9.48, down 4 pct
Gold edged up but remained close to a four-month low, hurt by speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve might be able to start scaling back its stimulus program soon. Spot gold on Wednesday fell 2.5 percent, posting its biggest daily loss in seven weeks. Silver touched its lowest since mid-August on Wednesday.
** KONGZHONG CORP, $7.64, down 5.2 pct (1:57 p.m. ET)
The Chinese mobile software maker reported a 22 percent decline in revenue from wireless value-added services, its second-largest business, and said it expects operating environment for the business to remain difficult for the remainder of the year.
** SANCHEZ ENERGY CORP, $27.42, up 7 pct (1:03 p.m. ET)
Global Hunter Securities analyst Curtis Trimble said the oil and gas producer’s stock was reacting to rival Devon Energy’s $6 billion purchase of Eagle Ford assets from GeoSouthern Energy. Sanchez’s core assets in Texas lie close to the properties bought by Devon.
** WILLIAMS-SONOMA INC, $59.48, up 7.2 pct (12:58 p.m. ET)
The home furnishings chain on Wednesday reported third-quarter results above analysts’ average estimates and said it was well-positioned for the upcoming holiday season as shoppers spent more on their homes in an improving U.S. housing market.
Barclays and RBC Capital Markets raised their price targets on the company’s stock.
** NU SKIN ENTERPRISES INC, $121.67, up 6 pct (11:18 a.m. ET)
The personal-care products maker forecast a better-than-expected 22-25 percent rise in its 2014 revenue as it expects higher demand for its nutritional supplements and weight management products.
** GAMESTOP CORP, $49.43, down 5.6 pct (12:53 p.m. ET)
The world’s largest retailer of video game products forecast earnings for the crucial holiday shopping quarter that fell short of Wall Street expectations.
** MANDALAY DIGITAL GROUP INC, $2.90, up 5.4 pct (10:20 a.m. ET)
The mobile content distribution service provider’s second-quarter revenue jumped seven-fold to $7 million, primarily due to acquisitions of Logia and MIA.
** NAVIGATOR HOLDINGS LTD, $20.09, up 5.7 pct (12:51 p.m. ET)
Shares of the liquefied gas carrier, controlled by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, rose as much as 11 percent in their debut, valuing the company at about $1.15 billion.
** JOHNSON CONTROLS INC, $50.61, up 5 pct (12:55 p.m. ET)
The largest U.S. auto parts maker on Wednesday said it will increase its share buyback program by $3 billion to bring the plan to $3.65 billion over the next three years.
** AIR LEASE CORP, $31.18, down 4.8 pct (12:56 p.m. ET)
The aircraft leasing company late on Wednesday announced a secondary offering of 10.1 million shares of its Class A common stock by affiliates of Ares Management LLC, Leonard Green & Partners LP and WL Ross & Co LLC. The company will not receive any proceeds from the sale.
** GILDAN ACTIVEWEAR INC, $47.08, down 4 pct (12:58 p.m. ET)
The Canadian apparel maker reported a 9 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, helped by lower cotton prices and higher sales in its printwear business.
However, the company forecast lower-than-expected earnings for the current quarter, saying the first half of fiscal 2014 would be hurt by higher cotton costs.
** CYBERONICS INC, $66.06, up 4.6 pct (12:59 p.m. ET)
The medical device maker raised its 2013 forecast as it benefited from strong patient additions and favorable currency impact in the second quarter. The company expects sales of between $281 million and $285 million, ahead of its previous forecast of $279 million to $283 million.
Analysts on average expect sales of $282 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** KIRKLAND’S INC, $23.94, up 5 pct (11:26 a.m. ET)
The specialty home decor retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly results as its fall and holiday season merchandise resonated well with customers.
** DONALDSON CO INC, $40.82, up 4.2 pct (10:41 a.m. ET)
The maker of filtration systems reported first-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates as demand rose in its engine and aerospace and defense businesses. The company also forecast full-year profit of $1.65 to $1.85 per share. Analysts on average expect profit of $1.77 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** DOLLAR TREE INC, $56.33, down 4.3 pct (12:53 p.m. ET)
The company reported a smaller-than-expected rise in quarterly comparable store sales and forecast current-quarter results below estimates.
** PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC, $86.01, down 4 pct (11:52 a.m E.T)
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the world’s largest listed tobacco company’s stock to “neutral” from “buy” and removed the Marlboro maker from its conviction buy list, citing weaker demand in Europe and higher investments hurting profit growth.
Philip Morris on Wednesday said it expects international cigarette industry volumes to decline by about 3 percent in 2013 and about 2-3 percent in 2014.
** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $6.99, down 4 pct (2:15 p.m. ET)
Raymond James analyst James Rollyson weaker met coal prices and negative data from China on steel overcapacity pulled down the company’s stock. Alpha supplies and exports metallurgical coal for steel production.
** TRANSOCEAN LTD, $51.96, down 3.6 pct (11:57 a.m. ET)
The owner of the world’s largest offshore drilling fleet attached some hard numbers to industry concerns about near-term slack in the demand for deepwater oil and gas drilling, saying its rigs would represent more than a third of those seeking work in 2014.
** CYTORI THERAPEUTICS INC, Wednesday close $2.47, up 3.3 pct (1:46 p.m. ET)
Japan approved a new legislation to accelerate the clinical development of regenerative medicine. “We believe this legislation to be an important development since more than half of Cytori’s global revenue has been generated in Japan,” the medical device maker’s Chief Executive Christopher Calhoun said.
** AEROPOSTALE INC, $10.36, up 3.2 pct (12:46 p.m. ET)
Shareholder Crescendo Partners urged the company to sell itself, joining a list of investors going public with their frustration about the fading fortunes of the teen clothing retailer after three quarters of losses.
** AMICUS THERAPEUTICS, $2.04, down 3.7 pct (12:53 p.m. ET)
The company said it reacquired the development and marketing rights to its experimental treatment for Fabry disease from partner GlaxoSmithKline. Fabry disease is a type of rare, genetic disease called lysosomal storage disease.
Amicus also said it acquired privately held Callidus Biopharma that develops enzyme replacement therapies for lysosomal storage diseases.
At least two brokerages downgraded the stock on Thursday.
** HOLOGIC INC, $22.83, up 2.5 pct (12:51 p.m. ET)
Activist investor Carl Icahn reported a 12.63 percent stake in the medical device maker, prompting the company to adopt a shareholder rights plan to protect itself from hostile takeovers.
** INTERCLOUD SYSTEMS, $12.90, up 2 pct (12:55 p.m. ET)
The company, which provides cloud and consulting services to wireless and wireline telecommunication companies, said its professional services group received contracts related to network expansion projects worth over $2.5 million from new and existing clients.
** VOXELJET AG, $38.76, down 1.1 pct (12:48 p.m. ET)
Shares of the 3D printer maker continued their fall after a 26 percent plunge on Wednesday, following a report from short-seller Citron Research that questioned the company’s quarterly results. In a report on Wednesday, Citron said the company provided loans to customers to generate sales and avoid posting a loss in its first results as a public company.
Voxeljet shares closed 44 percent higher on their debut.
Options volume on voxeljet is 3.2 times greater than the average daily volume with 7,732 calls and 5,571 puts traded as of 12:03 p.m. EST, according to Trade Alert. (Compiled by Natalie Grover; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila)