(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 fell on Thursday as a report showing modest economic growth in the fourth quarter was not viewed as positive enough to offset lingering geopolitical uncertainties, with the S&P 500 near record levels. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.22 percent at 16,233.25, the S&P 500 was down 0.39 percent at 1,845.39 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.76 percent at 4,141.802.
** CITIGROUP INC, $47.36, -5.58 pct
The Federal Reserve, on Wednesday, rejected the lender’s plans to buy back $6.4 billion of shares and boost dividends, saying the bank is not sufficiently prepared to handle a potential financial crisis.
Keefe Bruyette & Woods downgraded the company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” saying the Fed’s objection to Citi’s capital plan raises the possibility of a lower capital return relative to its expectations over an intermediate time horizon. Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein also lowered its rating on the company’s stock to “market perform” from “outperform.”
** ELETROBRAS, $4.7, +5.86 pct
** PETROBRAS SA, $12.88, +7.33 pct
** CIA SIDERURGICA NACIONAL, $4.43, +5.48 pct
** BANCO BRADESCO SA, $13.39, +4.77 pct
** ITAU UNIBANCO HOLDING SA, $14.76, +5.48 pct
Shares in Brazilian state-controlled companies rallied on Thursday as a poll showed declining approval for President Rousseff as investors bet the stocks’ outlook would brighten if Rousseff fails to win re-election.
** BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC, $73.65, +5.09 pct
The healthcare company said on Thursday that it would spin off its biotechnology operations into a publicly traded company by the middle of next year and focus on its core medical technology business, sending its shares up.
** TRINET GROUP INC, $18.5, +15.63 pct
Shares of the cloud-based payroll processor rose in their market debut, valuing the company at about $1.32 billion.
** CONN’S INC, $37.05, +7.33 pct
The specialty retailer of home appliances and furniture reported a 33 percent rise in holiday quarter same-store sales, helped by strong sales of high margin furniture and mattresses, and estimated that same-store sales in the current quarter to date were up about 15 percent.
** ALCOA INC, $12.43, +4.81 pct
The aluminum producer, on Thursday, launched a light-weight heavy-duty truck wheel, which help trucks shed pounds for increased payload and fuel efficiency. The 40-pound wheel was 47 percent lighter than steel wheels of the same size, the company said.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $8.875, -3.11 pct
Analysts at Societe Generale downgraded the Canadian handset maker to “sell” from “hold,” citing weak demand for BlackBerry handsets. The analysts also expect services revenue to fall due to lower subscriptions.
** GENERAL STEEL HOLDINGS INC, $1.28, -5.19 pct
The steelmaker posted a fall in quarterly revenue, hurt by lower production and a decrease in the prices of steel bars. General Steel’s stock rose in premarket trading as the company posted a profit compared with a year-ago loss, but gave up the gains in Thursday morning trade.
** SPHERIX INC, $3.4014, -24.08 pct
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC, $22.15, -0.76 pct
Spherix, which buys and licenses technology patents, said it had filed a lawsuit against Cisco alleging the infringement of 11 patents Spherix acquired from Nortel Networks.
** SOLAZYME INC, $11.065, -4.16 pct
The renewable oil producer announced the pricing of $130 million aggregate principal amount of its 5 percent convertible senior subordinated notes due 2019. It also priced an offering of 5 million shares of its common stock at $11.00 per share.
** RENESOLA LTD, $3.18, -5.64 pct
The solar company said on Thursday that it was temporarily reducing solar product shipments to the United States as it was being probed as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s anti-dumping investigation of Chinese solar products.
Certain retroactive tariffs may be applied on products shipped to the United States, including on panels with cells made in China and Taiwan, the company said. It backed its full-year shipment outlook of 2.3-2.5 gigawatt.
The United States is assessing whether Chinese companies are selling products below their fair value, or getting inappropriate levels of foreign government subsidies.
** ACCENTURE PLC, $77.72, -6.33 pct
Accenture, recently chosen as the lead contractor for the Obamacare enrollment website, raised its full-year profit forecast and the lower end of its revenue forecast. But the company also reported lower-than-expected results for the second quarter due to weak demand in its consulting business, which has been hit in the past few quarters as companies cut down on discretionary spending.
** SEANERGY MARITIME HOLDINGS CORP, $2.0699, +22.48 pct
The dry-bulk shipping company reported a fourth-quarter profit compared with a year-ago loss, helped by higher fleet utilization. (r.reuters.com/vyf97v)
** REALTY INCOME CORP, $39.975, -1.97 pct
The real-estate investment trust said late on Wednesday that it would price its offering of 12 million share at $39.96 per share, a discount of 2 percent to the stock’s Wednesday close. Realty Income said it expected to use the net proceeds from the offering to fund acquisitions.
** KING DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT PLC, $18.9, -0.53 pct
** ZYNGA INC, $4.48, -3.45 pct
King Digital’s shares continued to fall on Thursday after falling as much as 16 percent in their Wednesday debut, underscoring investor concern about the company’s reliance on “Candy Crush Saga” and dampening hopes that its coming-out party could revive investor interest in the mobile gaming industry.
Share’s of rival Zynga Inc also fell.
** ROUNDY’S INC, $6.79, +10.05 pct
BofA Merrill Lynch initiated coverage of the U.S. supermarket chain’s stock with a “buy” rating, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** RGS ENERGY, $3.79, -2.32 pct
The solar company said it would acquire Hawaii-based solar company Elemental Energy LLC, which operates under the Sunetric brand, for about $16 million in cash and stock, to enter the Hawaiian solar-panel market.
** GAMESTOP CORP, $36.08, -7.25 pct
The world’s biggest retailer of videogame products reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings, hurt by fewer game releases and a drop in store traffic.
** SIGNET JEWELERS LTD, $104.01, +5.76 pct
The specialty jewelry retailer reported fourth-quarter results that beat the average analyst estimate helped by a 4.3 percent growth in same-store sales.
** ALIMERA SCIENCES INC, $6.93, -0.72 pct
Alimera Sciences said it has applied a fourth time for U.S. regulatory approval to start selling an eye implant that delivers a drug to treat a form of blindness in diabetes patients.
** CHINA SUNERGY CO LTD, $4.24, -3.20 pct
The Chinese solar products maker said it would sell its Sunergy Shanghai unit to China Electric Equipment Group Co Ltd for about $37.7 million. (Reporting By Shuhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)