(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for more market insights, including options activity, ; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock indexes rose on Monday, sparked by the latest flurry of merger activity and earnings from Citigroup, putting the S&P 500 on pace to climb for a second straight session. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.74 percent at 17,068.55, the S&P 500 was up 0.54 percent at 1,978.1 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.68 percent at 4,445.67.
** CITIGROUP INC,$48.48, +3.15 pct
The company said it agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a U.S. government investigation into mortgage-backed securities the bank sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.
Citigroup on Monday also reported a stronger-than expected adjusted quarterly profit as its fixed-income business performed ahead of forecasts, taking the sting out of the settlement. However, its quarterly profit fell 96 percent.
The stock was one of the top boosts to the S&P 500.
** PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY NETWORK INC, $4.42, +4.57 pct
The online professional network operator said it would buy NAPW Inc, the owner of National Association of Professional Women, for $3.5 million in cash and the issuance of 6.3 million shares to sole shareholder of NAPW.
** MYLAN INC, $51.34, +2.27 pct
** ABBOTT LABORATORIES, $41.65, +0.85 pct
Generic drugmaker Mylan said it would buy Abbott’s specialty and branded generics business in developed markets outside the United States in an all-stock transaction valued at about $5.3 billion.
With more than 11.5 million shares traded, Mylan was the fifth most traded stock on the Nasdaq by midday.
** THE FEMALE HEALTH CO, $4.7801, -14.34 pct
The stock hits a two-and-a-half year low after the company said it would suspend dividend payments to save cash in order to make investments. The company paid a dividend of 7 cents per share in the second quarter.
** HARMONIC INC, $6.2, -13.04 pct
The fiber optics products maker cut its second-quarter revenue forecast, citing delayed orders. The stock fell 11 percent in morning trade, their steepest single-day fall in more than four years.
** PROGENICS PHARMACEUTICALS, $4.64, +9.43 pct
** SALIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, $135.61, +9.43 pct
Salix said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that Relistor, which has been licensed from Progenics to treat opioid-induced constipation, could be approved on the data submitted on the basis of the data in the in the supplemental new drug application.
Progenics’ stock was among the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq at 1030 ET.
** KANDI TECHNOLOGIES GROUP INC, $17.52, +19.02 pct
The China-based electric vehicle maker’s sales from its joint venture in China more than triple to 4,114 electric vehicles in the second quarter from the first quarter.
Kandi’s stock was the third highest percentage gainer on the Nasdaq at 1200 ET, with nearly 12.5 million shares changing hands.
** EXELIXIS INC, $4, +20.30 pct
Exelixis’ experimental drug helped patients with an advanced form of skin cancer live longer without their disease worsening when used in combination with another treatment. The drug, cobimetinib, is being developed in collaboration with Swiss drugmaker Roche AG
** URS CORP, $57.95, +11.40 pct
** AECOM TECHNOLOGY CORP, $34.43, +8.41 pct
Engineering design company Aecom said on Sunday said it would pay about $4 billion to acquire engineering and construction services firm URS.
URS’s stock was the second highest percentage gainer on the NYSE at 1200 ET.
** RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY INC, $18.95, -6.88 pct
The network equipment maker warned that its second-quarter adjusted revenue was lower than its forecast, because of delays in closing some large North American deals.
** NIC INC, $17.2, +8.79 pct
Analysts at Raymond James raised their rating on the outsourcing web portal service provider’s stock to “strong buy” from “outperform”, saying they expect sales and earnings growth to accelerate over the next 12 months.
** WHITING PETROLEUM CORP, $84.26, +7.28 pct
** KODIAK OIL & GAS CORP, $14.91, +4.78 pct
Whiting said on Sunday it would acquire Kodiak for $3.8 billion in stock, to become the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil formations. The deal is valued at $6 billion and includes Kodiak’s net debt of $2.2 billion.
Brean Capital analysts raised their price target on Whiting’s stock to $102 from $96.
** PARNELL PHARMACEUTICALS HOLDINGS LTD, $7.11, +3.80 pct
Jefferies started coverage on the animal health products maker’s stock with a “buy” rating and a $18 price target, saying Parnell is the most attractive play in the sector “given its heavily discounted valuation and strong catalyst set”. Piper Jaffray started coverage with an “overweight” rating and a price target of $17. JMP Securities started coverage with a “market outperform” rating and a price target of $12.
** UNITED MICROELECTRONICS CORP, $2.57, +3.63 pct
The world’s third-largest contract chipmaker licensed Cypress Semiconductor Corp’s embedded flash memory, which can be used in wearable gadgets and Internet-connected devices.
The stock has risen about 25 pct so far this year and is trading at two-year high levels.
** ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES INC, $4.575, +4.69 pct
Analyst at Wedbush Securities raised their price target on the company’s tock to by $1 to $6 ahead of second-quarter results on Thursday. Wedbush rates the stock “outperform”.
“We look for a solid beat and raise, primarily driven by increasing desktop market share, return to growth in consumer, and very strong seasonal tailwinds from console builds,” analyst Betsy Van Hees wrote.
** ZS PHARMA INC, $30.08, +2.00 pct
Four brokerages initiated coverage of the drug developer’s stock, which made its market debut on June 18. BMO Capital Markets, William Blair and Credit Suisse started coverage with “outperform” ratings, while J.P. Morgan Securities assigns “overweight.”
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER, $6.05, -2.58 pct
** MCEWEN MINING, $2.927, -5.58 pct
** FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP, $10.17, -7.04 pct
** SILVER STANDARD RESOURCES, $8.869, -3.49 pct
Gold prices slid more than 2 pct as concerns over euro zone periphery faded. Spot gold was down 2.4 pct at $1,304.90 an ounce at 1310 GMT, on track for its biggest one-day loss since Dec. 2. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down $31.20 an ounce at $1,306.20. Silver was down 2.3 pct at $20.89 an ounce.
** VITAL THERAPIES INC, $24.835, +5.59 pct
William Blair raised its price target on the drug developer’s stock to $36 from $28, saying it is assuming a launch price of $150,000 per treatment for Vital’s liver therapy, ELAD system, up from $125,000 assumed earlier. ELAD system, currently in late-stage trials, is designed to allow patient’s liver to regenerate to healthy state or to stabilize patient until transplant.
** PETROBRAS, $15.89, +4.61 pct
Goldman Sachs added the Brazilian oil and gas company , to its LatAm Spotlight list and saying they expected the company’s output to accelerate in the next two quarters.
** GENOCEA BIOSCIENCES INC, $13.52, -9.08 pct
The drug developer said it would sell 3.4 million shares. It had 17.3 million outstanding shares as of May 5. (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D’Souza)