MARKET PULSE-Bancorp, Biofuel, Boeing, Ocera, Orexigen
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U.S. stocks slipped on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 pulling back from record levels, though strength in a number of large-cap tech names kept the Nasdaq near breakeven territory. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.65 percent at 16,835.76, the S&P 500 was down 0.46 percent at 1,941.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 2.9 points, or 0.07 percent, at 4,335.10.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $36.02, -1.04 pct
General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra will testify on June 18 at a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the automaker's defective ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 deaths, the subcommittee said on Wednesday.
** AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC, $42.41, -2.86 pct
** DELTA AIR LINES INC, $40.57, -3.22 pct
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $45.11, -5.55 pct
** JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP, $10.4, -2.16 pct
** SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO, $26.95, -1.25 pct
Shares of airlines companies fell on Wednesday after Lufthansa cut back profit targets for the next two years.
** EXTENDED STAY AMERICA INC, $22.75, -4.09 pct
The hotel chain announced late on Tuesday a secondary offering of 21 million shares by selling shareholders.
** NORTHWEST BIOTHERAPEUTICS, $6.53, +13.96 pct
The biotechnology company said its immune therapy DCVax-Direct has shown promising responses in an ongoing early and mid-stage trial. Tumor cell death and tumor shrinkage was noticed in 13 of the 20 patients, who received at least three of the 6 total injections.
DCVax-Direct is an immune therapy for all types of inoperable solid tumor cancers and is administered by direct injection into the patient's tumors.
** BOEING CO, $134.05, -2.33 pct
Brokerage RBC Capital Markets downgraded its rating on the stock of the aircraft maker to "sector perform" from "outperform". RBC said "with build rates rising, no new aircraft launches (which stimulate orders) and slots sold out for many years, Boeing faces an uphill task to meet or beat" its book-to-bill threshold.
** DIGITALGLOBE INC, $31.32, +2.42 pct
The satellite imagery provider said the U.S. government had approved its longstanding request to sell higher-resolution images, a move that could unlock $400 million in additional market opportunities for the company.
** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $5.705, -16.23 pct
The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision on the marketing application for its obesity drug, contrave, by three months.
** BALTIC TRADING LTD, $6.35, -4.37 pct
** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.39, -1.45 pct
** GLOBUS MARITIME LTD, $3.63, +2.25 pct
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell 31 points, or 3.09 percent on Wednesday dragging down stocks of dry bulk shippers.
** BOYD GAMING CORP, $11.68, +4.38 pct
The casino operator said on Tuesday its unit Borgata would receive a tax refund of $88.3 million as part of an agreement to settle portions of tax appeal complaints filed by Borgata, related to property tax assessments for tax years 2011 through 2014.
** REVOLUTION LIGHTING TECHNOLOGIES INC, $2.22, +3.74 pct
The LED lighting maker said it won an order from real estate investment trust SL Green Corp to install more than 6,000 units of its LED products at nine properties of SL Green.
** MONTAGE TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD, $21.49, +8.65 pct
Shanghai Pudong Science And Technology Investment Co. offered to buy the Shanghai-based chipmaker for $22.6 per share, valuing Montage's equity at about $693 million.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC, $44.18, -2.86 pct
Founder and biggest shareholder, Chip Wilson, lashed out at the yogawear retailer's board on Wednesday, announcing he had voted not to re-elect the yogawear retailer's new chairman, Michael Casey, and one other director.
** BARRICK GOLD CORP, $16.37, +0.68 pct
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, $23.06, +1.23 pct
** ELDORADO GOLD, $6.22, +0.97 pct
** AGNICO EAGLE MINES LTD, $31.77, +0.83 pct
** COEUR MINING INC, $7.54, +1.34 pct
** NEW GOLD INC, $5.67, +2.90 pct
** SILVER WHEATON CORP, $21.68, +1.83 pct
** SEABRIDGE GOLD INC, $8.3, +6.55 pct
Gold added 0.3 percent to $1,264.00 an ounce, holding above a four-month low of $1,240.61 hit last week and benefitting from struggling equity markets and a slightly weaker dollar.
** OCERA THERAPEUTICS, $7.935, +13.20 pct
JMP Securities Analysts started coverage of the drug developer with an "outperform" rating, saying they believe the company's forthcoming studies have a good chance of success. Ocera is developing OCR-002 for reducing ammonia toxicity in patients with liver damage. Analysts estimated the market for the drug could exceed $500 million.
** ORASURE TECHNOLOGIES INC, $7.55, +4.43 pct
The diagnostics maker said it entered into an agreement with drugmaker AbbVie Inc to jointly promote OraSure's OraQuick HCV Rapid Test in the United States. The test is used to evaluate individuals at risk for hepatitis C.
** TABLEAU SOFTWARE INC, $63.07, +2.79 pct
Information Technology consultancy firm Brillo entered into a strategic partnership with Tableau to use its data analysis software to serve enterprise customers.
** MILLENIAL MEDIA INC, $4.405, +4.63 pct
The mobile advertising services provider said it hired Marc Theermann from Google Inc as executive president of business strategy to oversee the company's advertising development efforts. At Google, Theermann was head of mobile platform sales, managing the publisher sales organizations for its mobile ad products.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $57.06, -1.45 pct
Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake affirmed the The investment bank's earlier statements that second-quarter capital markets revenue would likely be down about 20 percent from a year earlier.
** BANCORP INC, $11.59, -28.46 pct
The lender said it will be restricted from issuing non-benefit relodable prepaid card programs until it complies with obligations issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The bank said it would incur additional expenses associated with these actions.
Brokerage BTIG downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy", citing uncertainity over the timing of a potential approval of the company's BSA report.
** CBS CORP, $61.97, +1.37 pct
The owner of the most watched U.S. television network said it would divest its 81 percent stake in CBS Outdoor Americas Inc , its outdoor advertising unit, over three days from July 7. The company's shareholders would be able to exchange all or some of their Class B common stock for CBS Outdoor shares at a 7 percent discount.
** SANDISK CORP, $99.55, +2.48 pct
Bofa Merrill Lynch raised its rating to "buy" from "underperform" on the memory chipmaker's stock, according to benzinga.com.
** BANK OF AMERICA CORP, $15.58, -2.14 pct
The bank and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an impasse in negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement related to BofA's mortgage investments, the New York Times reported citing people briefed on the matter.
** MORGAN STANLEY, $31.62, -1.43 pct
The company will "probably" close sales of two physical commodities businesses in the third quarter, CEO James Gorman said.
** BP PLC, $50.775, -0.34 pct
** AEROVIRONMENT INC, $34.8, -1.78 pct
British Petroleum has been authorized to use unmanned aircraft to survey pipelines and other infrastructure on Alaska's North Slope, the first commercial drone flights over U.S. land, government authorities said on Tuesday, giving a boost to the tiny aircraft's manufacturer AeroVironment.
** EXELON CORP, $36.01, -3.09 pct
The utility company said it would offer 50 million shares of its common stock and 20 million equity units for sale. The net proceeds would be used to partly finance the acquisition of Pepco Holdings Inc.
Each equity unit will comprise a contract to purchase Exelon common stock by June 1, 2017 and a 1/20 undivided beneficial ownership interest in $1,000 principal amount of Exelon's junior subordinated notes due 2024.
** HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC, $22.8, -2.69 pct
The hotel operator said some of its shareholders were selling 90 million Hilton shares at $23.04 per share, a slight discount to the stock's Tuesday close of $23.43. The company said it would not receive any proceeds from the sale.
** BIOFUEL ENERGY CORP, $7.6601, +32.64 pct
The ethanol producer said it would buy real-estate assets controlled by Greenlight Capital Inc and real estate investor James Brickman for $275 million in cash and stock.
** MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC, $30.96, +4.91 pct
Credit Suisse raised its price target to $50 from $30 on the chipmaker's stock, citing enterprise demand for its DRAM memory chips used in personal computers.
Prices for DRAM chips made by Micron, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix Inc have bounced back from a deep memory chip price slump in 2012 that led some chipmakers to throttle back production.
** H&R BLOCK INC, $32.03, +4.23 pct
The tax preparer's fourth-quarter earnings rose to $3.29 per share from $2.42, after the company exited unprofitable retail partnerships and improved its online tax-preparation software offering.
** RAMBUS INC, $13.09, +5.91 pct
The technology licensing company raised its second-quarter revenue forecast to $75 million-$77 million, from its previously stated range of $69 million-$74 million.
Rambus also entered into a patent license agreement with Qualcomm Global Trading Pte Ltd, a unit of Qualcomm Inc . The agreement gives Qualcomm Inc and its units access to patented memory, interface, and security technologies from Rambus. The company said other terms of the agreement were confidential.
** SYNAPTICS INC, $84.2275, +26.62 pct
The touchscreen chipmaker said it would buy the sole supplier of display chips for the iPhone for $475 million, potentially winning back Apple Inc as a customer. The company also raised its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter ending June 30.
** ULTA SALON COSMETICS AND FRAGRANCE INC, $97.75, +14.58 pct
The beauty products retailer reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit and revenue on Tuesday helped by higher e-commerce sales and forecast current-quarter sales above analysts' average estimate.
At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock on Wednesday.
** UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC, $62.9411, -8.12 pct
The U.S. food distributor reported first-quarter results in line with analysts' average estimates on Tuesday and said it expects earnings of $2.47-$2.50 per share for the year ending Aug. 2, down from the $2.45-$2.51 it expected earlier.
The company said the updated outlook reflects acquisition costs related to its agreement to buy Tony's Fine Foods for about $195.3 million.
** PROSPECT CAPITAL CORP, $10.285, +4.74 pct
The business development company said it will not need to restate historical financial statements to consolidate some wholly owned subsidiaries, based on discussions with the office of the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)