MARKET PULSE-Oncothyreon, Mako, Ascena, Clovis, NTelos, AAR Corp

Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:20am EDT

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Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged 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. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.08 percent, the S&P 500 was up 0.05 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.12 percent.

** ONCOTHYREON INC, $2.20, up 22 pct (9:58 a.m. ET)

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, $29.54, up 82 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)

** STRYKER CORP, $69.69, down 1 pct

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.

** ASCENA RETAIL GROUP INC, $19.81, up 14 pct (9:52 a.m. ET)

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, $62.91, down 14 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

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.

* NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP, $17.50, up 10 pct (9:50 a.m. ET)

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.

** LANDEC CORP, $12.26, down 9 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

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.

** COPART INC, $30.83, down 9.5 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)

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.

** AAR CORP, $27.81, down 7 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

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.

** SOLAZYME INC, $11.29, up 5 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)

The renewable oil producer said it would supply tailored algal oil to consumer goods supplier Unilever PLC. The initial delivery of at least 10,000 metric tons is expected by early 2014.

** CARNIVAL CORP, $33.07, down 4 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)

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.

** NOBLE CORP, $38.80, up 2 pct (9:54 a.m. ET)

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.

** INFINITY PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $17.95, down 2 percent (9:53 a.m. ET)

Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc INFI.O 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.

** DYNAVAX TECHNOLOGIES CORP, $1.24, up 3 pct (9:50 a.m. ET)

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.

** SKYWORKS SOLUTIONS INC, $25.09, down 3 pct (10:08 a.m. ET)

B. Riley cut its rating on the chipmaker's stock to "neutral" from "buy".

** BED BATH AND BEYOND INC, $74.63 (10:02 a.m. ET)

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, $23.97 (10:03 a.m. ET)

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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