MARKET PULSE-Oncothyreon, Mako, Noble, AAR Corp, Men's Wearhouse

Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:18am EDT

Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to edge up at the open on Wednesday, following four days of losses on the S&P 500 and Dow, even as a lack of progress in budget negotiations in Washington left investors puzzled. S&P 500 futures were flat, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 16 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4 points.

** ONCOTHYREON INC, Tuesday close $1.80, up 23 pct premarket

German drugmaker Merck KGaA will conduct new tests on an experimental lung cancer vaccine which failed a previous late-stage clinical trial, it said. The drug, licensed from U.S. biotech firm Oncothyreon, will be tested on patients with locally advanced Stage III non-small cell lung cancer, which cannot be surgically removed, unchanged from the previous trial called START, the firm said.

** MAKO SURGICAL CORP, Tuesday close $16.17, up 82 pct premarket

** STRYKER CORP, Tuesday close $70.83, down 2.5 pct premarket

Medical device maker Stryker will buy the smaller peer for about $1.65 billion to gain access to Mako's technology for robot-assisted orthopedic surgery.

** COPART INC, Tuesday close $34.09, down 8.5 pct premarket

The online auctioneer of vehicles said it will not convert into a real estate investment trust, more than a year after the company started evaluating such a move. Copart also reported a fourth-quarter profit that missed Wall Street expectations by 8 cents.

** NOBLE CORP, Tuesday close $37.93, up 4 pct premarket

The offshore drilling contractor unveiled on Tuesday a long-planned spin-off of older rigs into a new company that may make an initial public offering next year, as Noble seeks a premium valuation for its best assets.

** BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $8.18, up 4 pct premarket

The network equipment maker said it raised its share buyback program to $1 billion from $308 million.

** AAR CORP, Tuesday close $29.93, down 6.1 pct premarket

The aerospace parts and systems maker reported a lower first-quarter profit as sales fell in its technology products business. The company reported sales of $514.5 million, below analysts' expectations of $542.1 million.

** INFINITY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $18.31, down 2 percent premarket

The company said its cancer drug failed to improve overall survival in a mid-stage study on patients with non-small cell lung cancer who had a history of smoking. The company said it will not start any new trials with the drug, retaspimycin HCl.

** ASCENA RETAIL GROUP INC, Tuesday close $17.32, up 11 pct premarket

The womens apparel retailer said its fourth-quarter profit more than tripled, comfortably beating Wall Street estimates, as e-commerce sales surged and gross margins improved with fewer markdowns.

** CLOVIS ONCOLOGY, Tuesday close $73.52, down 13 pct premarket

The developer of cancer drugs that had been looking for a potential buyer, is finding no takers, according to a report by Bloomberg, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

** LANDEC CORP, Tuesday close $13.57, down 12 pct after market

The polymer maker reported lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings as it changed the timing of income recognition from its Windset Farms. Landec said about 6 cents per share have been shifted from its first quarter to the remaining three quarters.

** CARNIVAL CORP, Tuesday close $34.54, down 5 pct premarket

The world's largest cruise operator warned on Tuesday it could report an adjusted loss for the current quarter, after posting a 30 percent fall in third-quarter profit due to a series of headline-grabbing mishaps on its cruise ships.

J.P.Morgan cut its price target on the stock to $32 from $34, while Susquehanna International Group cut its target to $40 from $43. Bofa Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the stock to "neutral," according to theflyonthewall.com.

** YAHOO INC, Tuesday closing price $31.27

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will pursue an IPO in the United States after talks with Hong Kong regulators broke down, a move bound to set off a dogfight between the two main U.S. stock boards for the offering.

Yahoo, which owns 24 percent of Alibaba, stands to reap huge windfalls from an IPO as Alibaba's market valuation would add billions of dollars to the two companies' assets. Yahoo is also keen to sell part of its stake.

* NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP, Tuesday close $15.95, up 4 pct after market

The telecom services provider raised its full-year EBITDA forecast and said it settled disputes over services to Sprint Corp's customers in Virginia and West Virginia. NTelos raised its adjusted EBITDA forecast to $150 million-$155 million from $140 million-$145 million.

** DYNAVAX TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Tuesday close $1.19, up 5 pct after market

The Vaccine published a commentary from two doctors emphasizing that Dynavax's hepatitis B vaccine had an adjuvant, an agent to boost immune response, which can be important for immunization against hepatitis B. The journal also published late-stage trial results showing the safety and viral response of the vaccine, Heplisav.

** ZOGENIX INC, Tuesday close $1.89, up 9 pct after market

The drugmaker was awarded a $20.7 million contract from a unit of the U.S. Department of Defense for various medical and surgical products. ()

** MEN'S WEARHOUSE INC, Tuesday close $32.79, up 3 pct premarket

Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on the the men's apparel retailer's stock with a "buy", according to theflyonthewall.com.

** AUTOZONE INC, Tuesday close $414.31, up 1 pct premarket

The largest U.S. auto parts retailer reported a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit mainly due to higher margins.

** AMAZON.COM INC, Tuesday close $314.13, up 0.3 pct premarket

The world's largest Internet retailer unveiled two new high-definition tablets on Tuesday with a unique on-screen helpdesk feature it hopes will give it an advantage over devices from rivals Apple Inc and Google Inc.

** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Tuesday close $11.90, down 2 pct premarket

The retailer plans to hire about 35,000 temporary workers for the coming holiday season, roughly the same level as in 2011, before it changed its pricing strategy and did away with most coupons and sales events, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Tuesday close $39.11

Dow has signed a deal to invest up to $120 million in developing 16 shale gas wells along with Argentinas state-run energy company YPF in the South American country's vast Vaca Muerta formation, YPF said on Tuesday.

** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $50.32

The company is facing several investigations into its mortgage practices, is seeking a global settlement with U.S. government authorities in multiple jurisdictions, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

** BED BATH AND BEYOND INC, Tuesday close $74.81

The U.S. home goods chain posts second-quarter results that will give investors a read on consumer demand for discretionary goods. The company has been investing heavily in e-commerce but this has been a drag on margins.

** JABIL CIRCUIT INC, Tuesday close $23.71

Quarterly profit at the contract manufacturer is expected to be stable compared with the same period a year ago, but may fall short of Wall Street estimates mainly due to the sudden announcement of the business sale by Blackberry, one of its top customers.

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