MARKET PULSE-Apple, Harvest Natural, Ovascience, Ventrus
Sept 11 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:
FUTURES DIP MODESTLY AFTER SIX-DAY RALLY
U.S. stock index futures edged lower, as the S&P 500 appeared set to pause after six straight days of gains, after President Barack Obama pledged to explore Russia's diplomatic plan to remove chemical weapons from Syria. S&P 500 futures and Dow Jones industrial average futures were flat, while Nasdaq 100 futures lost 12.75 points.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $494.64, down 4 pct premarket
The higher-than-expected price of Apple Inc's new iPhone eased worries about gross margins, while arousing concerns the company was not being aggressive enough in its fight against Google Inc's market-dominating Android operating system.
** HARVEST NATURAL RESOURCES INC, Tuesday close $4.15, up 35 pct premarket
The oil and natural gas producer said it was in exclusive talks to sell itself to Argentina's Pluspetrol in a deal valued at about $373 million including debt after struggling to fund its exploration activities.
** OVASCIENCE INC, Tuesday close $14.27, down 31 pct premarket
The developer of infertility treatments said it plans to suspend enrollment in a U.S. study testing its lead product after regulators sought an application for the product's approval.
** VENTRUS BIOSCIENCES INC, Tuesday close $2.58, up 10 pct premarket
The drugmaker said its experimental cream for the treatment of anal fissures was safe and well-tolerated in two dermal safety studies. The drug, VEN307, is applied perianally to treat pain related to fissure.
** UMB FINANCIAL CORP, Tuesday close $55.37, down 3 pct premarket
The financial services company priced the public offering of 3.9 million shares at $54 apiece, below the stock's Tuesday close, to raise $210.6 million.
** XOOM CORP, Tuesday close $30.68, up 2.5 pct premarket
The digital money transfer company priced a follow-on offering at $30.50 per share, slightly below the stock's Tuesday close. The company increased the size of the offering to 4.4 million shares from 3.7 million. About 3 million shares are being offering by the company.
** RF MICRO DEVICES INC, Tuesday close $5.48, up 2 pct premarket
Brokerage Raymond James upgraded the chipmaker's stock to "strong buy" from "market perform" as it believes the company will capture market share with leading handset vendors, in both high end and lower tier, and will have strong margin growth.
RF Micro supplies cellular radio frequency chips for use in mobile devices such as handsets, notebooks and tablets. The company's customers include Nokia Oyj, BlackBerry Ltd and HTC Corp.
** HIMAX TECHNOLOGIES INC, Tuesday close $8.47, up 2 pct premarket
Brokerage Northland Securities Inc started coverage on the Taiwanese chipmaker's stock with an "outperform" rating as it believes the company will benefit from growth in the small and medium display driver market, given the strength in smartphone and tablet sales. Himax makes chips used in flat panel displays and display drivers.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, Tuesday close $56.64, up 4 pct after market
Los Angeles investment firm Baker Street Capital, one of the U.S. retailer's biggest shareholders, said in a research note that at least $7.3 billion of value lies at the company's top 350 owned stores and 50 leased locations, the New York Post reported on Tuesday. (link.reuters.com/nen92v)
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC, Tuesday close $50.42
** THERAVANCE INC, Tuesday close $37.79, up 4 pct premarket
A federal advisory panel recommended approval of GlaxoSmithKline's new drug to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but suggested the company be required to conduct further safety studies once the drug is approved. GSK is developing the product with Theravance.
** CHIMERIX INC, Tuesday close $19.03, down 1 pct premarket
The company said its experimental lung infection drug failed to show improvement in a mid-stage study. Brincidofovir was being tested on 48 cancer patients who had a type of viral infection after undergoing a blood cell transplant.
** COLDWATER CREEK INC, Tuesday close $2.74, down 19 pct after market
The women's apparel retailer's adjusted loss widened 18 percent in the second quarter as increased promotional activity pressured margins but failed to stimulate sales.
** OXFORD INDUSTRIES INC, Tuesday close $64.72, down 6 pct after market
The apparel retailer, known for its Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer brands, reported second-quarter sales that missed analysts' estimates and cut its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
** SYNNEX CORP, Tuesday close $47.97, up 9 pct after market
The hardware distributor will acquire IBM Corp's worldwide customer care business process outsourcing operations for $505 million.
** INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO, Tuesday close $49.27, up 1 pct after market
The company boosted its dividend 17 percent on Tuesday and announced a $1.5 billion stock buyback plan. The quarterly dividend is being raised to 35 cents from 30 cents, payable on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Tuesday close $45.91, up 1 pct after market
The company is expected to set the size of its multi-tranche bond deal at between $45 billion to $49 billion, market sources close to the deal said on Tuesday, making it the biggest corporate bond issue on record by some distance.
** US AIRWAYS GROUP, Tuesday close $18.12
US Airways defended its proposed merger with American Airlines on Tuesday, arguing that the deal would create $500 million in savings to consumers annually by building a stronger competitor to Delta Air Lines Inc and United Continental .
** UNILIFE CORP, Tuesday close $3.10, up 2 pct after market
The maker of drug delivery systems reported a smaller loss for the fourth quarter mainly due to lower expenses.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Tuesday close $10.94
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry cut several dozen jobs from its U.S. sales team on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The layoffs are part of rolling job cuts that have been ongoing for several weeks.
** CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC, Tuesday close $103.53
The company, which produced the most oil and natural gas in North Dakota's Bakken shale fields during the second quarter, expects 2014 production across its vast portfolio to rise at least 26 percent.
** BRISTOW GROUP INC, Tuesday close $69.12
The company, which provides helicopter services to the oil and gas industry, said it won several multi-year contracts to provide 15 helicopters, which are expected to generate up to $850 million in revenue.
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO, Tuesday close $5.89
The China-based solar panel maker said it would supply about 28 megawatt of solar panels to a Chinese utility. (Compiled by Varun Aggarwal; Editing by Don Sebastian)
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