(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, with the selloff accelerating in afternoon trading, hurt by disappointing manufacturing data in China and a mixed bag of U.S. corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.14 percent at 16,187.24, the S&P 500 was down 1.04 percent at 1,825.67 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.81 percent at 4,208.79.
** FUSION-IO INC, $10.84, +15.07 pct
The solid-state data storage maker reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter on Wednesday, helped by diversification in its customer base and greater traction with original equipment manufacturers.
Fusion reported an adjusted loss of 6 cents per share on revenue of $94.5 million. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 10 cents per share on revenue of $89.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** SILICOM LTD, $59.01, +26.93 pct
The company, which makes computer networking equipment, reported a 52 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue.
** NOBLE CORP, $32.66, -9.90 pct
The offshore drilling contractor’s chief executive said he expected slack demand for rigs in the first part of this year. However, Noble posted a rise in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, in line with analysts’ estimates, as the company successfully raised daily rates.
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $48.06, -2.28 pct
The airline forecast current-quarter revenue that disappointed some analysts. However, the company posted a quarterly profit that easily topped Wall Street expectations, helped by an increase in passenger travel, higher ticket prices and lower fuel costs.
** JANUS CAPITAL GROUP INC, $12, -7.62 pct
The asset manager’s fourth-quarter profit rose 23 percent due to higher investment management fees, but outflows continued.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, $56.4, -2.07 pct
The lender’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said government legal cases, including those over mortgage securities the company settled for more than $13 billion, were “unfair”.
** GATX CORP, $60.05, +15.86 pct
The railcar leasing company reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter due to a strong demand for tank cars in North America and high lease rates.
The company also said it expected 2014 earnings to be $3.85-$4.05 per share. Analysts on average were expecting $3.61 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
GATX’s board also authorized a $250 million share repurchase program.
** HERCULES OFFSHORE INC, $4.8201, -16.17 pct
At least two brokerages cut their rating on the offshore drilling contractor’s stock, after the company’s fleet status report for January showed lower contracting activity for shallow-water rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cowen and Co analysts noted that average backlog per rig had fallen to 125 days from 210 days last July.
** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $9.31, -6.05 pct
** RENESOLA LTD, $3.77, -3.58 pct
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, $6.4, -6.16 pct
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $15.13, -8.58 pct
Shares of Chinese solar companies fell after a judge in the United States ruled that Chinese units of the global “Big Four” accounting firms should be suspended from auditing U.S.-listed companies for six months, saying the auditors failed to give regulators papers of certain Chinese companies under investigation for accounting fraud.
Other than the headline risk from news from China, solar stocks have been overstretched, Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said. “Against this backdrop, even a relatively small piece of negative news, such as the Big Four news, can have an outsized effect on the (Chinese solar) stocks,” he said.
** PERFECT WORLD CO LTD, $19.59, -6.80 pct
** KONGZHONG CORP, $8, -14.26 pct
** E-COMMERCE CHINA DANGDANG INC, $9.91, -10.64 pct
** BAIDU INC, $162.94, -6.59 pct
U.S.-traded Chinese stocks slumped on Thursday after a U.S. judge suspended the Chinese units of the world’s top accounting firms from auditing U.S.-listed companies for six months.
If the accounting giants fail to successfully appeal the ruling, issued on Wednesday, it raises the possibility that companies could see their listings temporarily suspended. It also could short-circuit forthcoming U.S. listings from China.
** BRIGGS & STRATTON CORP, $21.15, -6.95 pct
The maker of air cooled gasoline engines reported second-quarter results that missed analysts’ estimates due to a 13 percent fall in sales at its products business.
** TEXAS CAPITAL BANCSHARES INC,$60.4, -4.91 pct
The bank holding company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results as it set aside more money to cover soured loans. Loan loss provision rose 20 percent in the fourth quarter to $4.9 million.
** JEFFERSON BANCSHARES INC, $7.75, +18.68 pct
HomeTrust Bancshares said it would buy the Tennessee-chartered savings bank for about $51.2 million in a cash and stock deal to enter the east Tennessee market.
** ARCTIC CAT INC,$44.21, -17.72 pct
The company, which sells all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles under the Arctic Cat brand, cut its full-year sales and earnings forecast after reporting a lower quarterly profit.
Gross profit margins fell to 17.8 percent in the third quarter from 23.3 percent a year earlier, mainly due to sales of lower-margins Yamaha snowmobiles.
** HERBALIFE LTD, $64.97, -11.64 pct
Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey is asking for more information about the business practices of the nutrition company, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme by prominent hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.
Markey sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and to Herbalife itself to try an obtain more information, his office said in a news release on Thursday.
** SANTANDER CONSUMER USA HOLDING INC, $25.35, +5.63 pct
Shares of the consumer finance unit of Spanish bank Santander SA rose as much as 10 percent in their U.S. market debut. The Spanish lender said earlier on Thursday that it planned to increase the equity of its U.S. holding company by up to $2 billion to back growth plans.
** NETFLIX INC, $386.12, +15.70 pct
The company added more than 2.3 million U.S. customers in the fourth quarter and said it was testing different pricing plans for its monthly TV and movie streaming service.
** LOGITECH INTERNATIONAL SA, $16.1, +21.79 pct
The computer-mouse maker raised its forecast for the full year after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results.
** POLYCOM INC, $12, +1.95 pct
The company reported better-than-expected quarterly results due to higher sales of its desktop video-conferencing devices, and said it would cut 6 percent of its workforce.
** ARIAD PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.45, +11.03 pct
At least three pharmaceutical companies, Eli Lilly and Co , Shire Plc and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, have approached Ariad's board to buy the company, and were prepared to pay up to $20 per share in cash, according to a report on the website of the Daily Mail newspaper. (link.reuters.com/ben36v)
** HILL-ROM HOLDINGS INC $37.25, -15.55 pct
The medical products and technologies provider reported weaker-than-expected results for the first quarter, hurt by falling sales in North America, the Middle East and Latin America.
The company also forecast full-year earnings below analysts’ estimates and said it would cut 350 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs.
** F5 NETWORKS INC, $103.21, +5.88 pct
The network gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates, helped by strong sales of its data traffic management products.
** SANDISK CORP, $71.46, -1.01 pct
The company posted higher fourth-quarter profits but gave a revenue outlook that fell short of some analysts’ expectations and said memory chip prices would fall more this year than in 2013.
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $4.54, +5.09 pct
Analysts at BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on the Canadian silver miner’s stock to C$5.50 from C$4.75, citing the company’s forecast of higher silver output this year. Endeavour Silver said it expected to produce 10.4 million-11 million ounces of silver in 2014, higher than 6.8 million ounces it produced in 2013.
** RAMBUS INC, $9.0556, +5.05 pct
Citigroup raised its rating on the technology licensing company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC, $13.17, -7.97 pct
The company said its chief executive of two years, Robert Hanson, would leave the company in a surprising move at a time when U.S. teen apparel retailers are struggling to attract shoppers and boost sales.
** NOKIA, $6.89, -10.52 pct
The company reported a 22 percent fall in sales at its core NSN network equipment division, highlighting the problems facing management once it completes the sale of its former flagship phones business to Microsoft for 5.4 billion euros ($7.4 billion).
** COBALT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INC, $17.49, +3.86 pct
The U.S. oil and gas producer said on Wednesday it discovered oil at its Bicuar 1A well, offshore Angola. The well, drilled in partnership with Angola’s national oil company Sonangol, reached its total depth in 59 days, about 63 days before schedule.
The Bicuar area may bring about $644.5 million, or $1.58 per share, for Cobalt, Global Hunter Securities analyst Curtis Trimble wrote in a note.
** BIOLINERX, $3.059, +4.40 pct
The drug developer said the U.S. health regulator granted an orphan drug status to its experimental drug candidate, BL-8040, as a stem cell therapy for certain cancer patients.
The orphan drug status is granted to drugs that aim to treat rare diseases affecting not more than 200,000 people in the United States and gives the drugmaker a seven-year marketing exclusivity.
BL-8040 mobilizes stem cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood in patients suffering from hematologic cancers, a type that affects blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes.
** CLEVELAND BIOLABS INC, $0.7399, -34.52 pct
The biotechnology company said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services terminated negotiations related to the development of its anti-radiation treatment, citing a lack of funds.
** ACCELERON PHARMA INC, $52.3, -7.76 pct
The company priced on Wednesday a public offering of 2.4 million shares of its common stock at $50 per share. The price represents a 12 percent discount to the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.
** GLOBAL BRASS AND COPPER HOLDINGS INC, $16.9, -4.74 pct
The copper and brass products processor said an affiliate of its largest shareholder, KPS Capital Partners LP, would begin a public offering of Global Brass’s 3.75 million common shares. Global Brass will not receive any proceeds from the offering, the company said on Wednesday.
** PRECISION CASTPARTS CORP, $261.004, -3.58 pct
The company, which makes forgings and fasteners for aerospace and industrial gas turbine applications, reported third-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates as customers postponed delivery schedules.
Precision Castparts books revenue only after the products have been delivered.
** UNION PACIFIC CORP, $173.53, +2.99 pct
The company posted a bigger quarterly profit as it raised prices and saw demand in overall shipments grow, Union Pacific said.
** MCKESSON, $171.3, +0.95 pct
The majority shareholder behind German drugs distributor Celesio is in talks to buy the shares in Celesio held by hedge fund Elliott as part of a fresh attempt to sell the company to U.S. drugs wholesaler group McKesson, a person familiar with the talks told Reuters.
** ABBOTT LABORATORIES INC, $37.3, -2.02 pct
The company reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, hurt by disappointing sales of its generic medicines and the lingering impact of an overseas recall of its baby formulas last summer. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Edited by Kirti Pandey)