(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49sfor the Morning News Call newsletter link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks fell at the open on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Dow poised to drop for the first week in four, as concerns grew over a lack of compromise in debt and budget negotiations by congressional lawmakers in Washington. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.27 percent, the S&P 500 was down 0.33 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.48 percent.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $9.31, down 11 pct (1:30 p.m ET)
The struggling department store operator expects to raise up to $932 million from a share sale, leaving it with about $2.2 billion in cash at the end of the year. Penney, whose shares have been hit by concerns it doesn’t have enough cash to fund operations going into the holiday shopping season, said on Friday that without the offering it would have about $1.3 billion in cash by the end of the year - about $200 million less than it had forecast on Aug. 19.
** LUMBER LIQUIDATORS HOLDINGS INC, $101.46, down 10 pct (1:30 p.m ET)
Federal authorities executed a search warrant at the retailer’s headquarters and another location, the Associated Press reported. Representatives for Lumber Liquidators did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday. In a statement provided to AP, the retailer said it is cooperating to provide information and documentation to “answer questions relating to the importation of certain products”.
** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $31.47, down 7.6 pct (1:30 p.m ET)
The airline said it would miss its forecast for revenue per available seat in the third quarter. The company estimated passenger revenue per available seat mile would increase 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent from a year earlier. The mid point of the range is 1 percentage point lower than its earlier forecast. (link.reuters.com/sax43v)
** ARQULE INC, $2.69, up 9 pct (1:31 p.m ET)
The drugmaker’s shares jumped 19 percent on hopes that additional data from a discontinued trial could revive its experimental drug, tivantinib, as a treatment for lung cancer.
** TOWER GROUP INTERNATIONAL LTD, $6.86, down 16 pct (1:32 p.m ET)
The insurer’s shares fell for the third straight day due to concerns that the company might take a higher charge on its loss reserves than previously expected. Tower Group shares fell as much as 17 percent on Friday to $6.76, their lowest level since 2004. The stock has halved in value since Sept. 17, when the company again delayed filing of its second-quarter results.
** NEKTAR THERAPEUTICS, $10.68, down 22 pct (1:32 p.m ET)
The drugmaker said its experimental drug to treat chronic pain in patients with arthritis of the knee failed to meet its main goal in a mid-stage clinical trial.
** RDA MICROELECTRONICS INC, $15.18, up 9 pct (1:32 p.m ET)
The radio frequency chipmaker said China’s state-owned Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co Ltd offered to buy the shares of the chipmaker it does not already own at $15.50 per American depositary share.
** HALOZYME THERAPEUTICS INC, $11.57, up 9.5 pct (2:35 p.m. ET)
The drugmaker said it will get $10 million as milestone payment from partner Roche Holding AG after the Swiss drugmaker launched its breast cancer drug Herceptin in Europe. The injectable, which uses Halozyme’s enzyme technology, received approval from the European Commission on Aug. 28, Halozyme said.
** YAHOO INC, $33.67, up 3 pct (1:34 p.m ET)
The U.S. Internet company joined Japan’s SoftBank Corp in backing Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s planned partnership structure. 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.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $8.04, up 1 pct (1:34 p.m ET)
The company reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion on Friday, in line with last week’s warning, days after accepting its largest shareholder’s tentative $4.7 billion bid to take it out of the public eye.
** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $14.90, up 16 pct premarket (1:34 p.m ET)
** YINGLI GREEN ENERGY HOLDING CO LTD, $6.66, up 9 pct
Deutsche Bank raised its ratings on the Chinese solar panel makers to “buy” from “hold”, saying demand is growing a lot faster than expected since China announced in mid 2013 incentives for the sector and initiatives to curb pollution. “Companies with scale, international brand recognition and deep-rooted China relationships stand to emerge as long-term winners,” the brokerage said in a note.
** ACCENTURE PLC, $73.32, down 3 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)
The outsourcing and consulting services provider said it was too early to say if the fourth-quarter growth in its consulting business was sustainable, and forecast quarterly revenue below analysts’ estimates.
** RINGCENTRAL INC, $19.00, up 46 pct (11:41 a.m. ET)
Shares of the San Mateo, California-based cloud-based business communications services provider, rose as much as 28 percent in their market debut on Friday.
** ENZYMOTEC LTD, $17.15, up 22.5 pct (11:56 a.m. ET)
Shares of nutritional ingredient and medical food maker Enzymotec rose as much as 25 percent in their market debut on Friday. The company’s shares opened at $14.25 on the Nasdaq and touched a high of $17.47. The Israel-based company uses its technology to harvest lipids, which include fatty acids and their derivatives, from natural sources and alters them to make products that address human dietary needs, certain disorders and common diseases.
* VIOLIN MEMORY, $7.39, down 18 pct (1:36 p.m. ET)
Shares of the flash storage provider, backed by Toshiba Corp , fell as much as 20 percent in their market debut. Violin Memory priced its offering of 18 million shares at $9 each, the mid-point of its proposed price range, raising $162 million.
** PATTERN ENERGY GROUP INC, $23.29, up 6 pct (11:59 a.m. ET)
Shares of the wind farm operator rose 10 percent in their market debut, valuing the company at about $1.24 billion.
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $7.91, down 2 pct (10 a.m. ET)
** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.65, down 5 pct
** PARAGON SHIPPING INC, $5.85, down 2 pct
** EUROSEAS LTD, $1.56, down 3 pct
** GENCO SHIPPING AND TRADIND LTD, $3.83, down 7 pct
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilzer, was down 3 percent.
** NIKE INC, $74.30, up 5 pct (1:36 p.m. ET)
** FOOT LOCKER, $34.13, up 4 pct
Nike enjoyed big sales in gains in North America and Europe last quarter and benefited from fewer markdowns, helping the maker of sports clothes and shoes report a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit.
At least six brokerages raised their price targets on the stock on Friday. Brokerage Sterne Agee & Leach upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” according to Theflyonthewall.com.
Shares of athletic shoes retailer Foot Locker also rose on the news.
** AZZ INC, $41.34, down 4 pct (1:37 p.m. ET)
The electrical equipment maker reported second-quarter earnings below analysts’ estimates. The company also forecast 2014 revenue well below analysts expectations as construction of domestic and international nuclear power projects are delayed.
** ENDEAVOUR SILVER CORP, $4.49, up 3 pct (10.15 a.m. ET)
** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD, $13.45, up 3 pct
** DRDGOLD LT, $5.76, up 2 pct
** AURICO GOLD INC, $4.01, up 2 pct
** PRETIUM RESOURCES INC, $7.17, up 2 pct
** MAGNUM HUNTER RESOURCES CORP, $6.02, up 2 pct
Gold jumped more than 1 percent on Friday as wrangling over the U.S. budget and jitters over the outlook for Federal Reserve policy stoked buying interest, with buying accelerating sharply on a break of a key chart level. Spot gold was at $1,341.16 an ounce at 1216 GMT, up 1.3 percent. Silver was up 1.5 percent at $21.49 an ounce, tracking gold.
** FINISH LINE INC, $24.13, up 8 pct (1:37 p.m. ET)
The athletic footwear retailer reported second-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by growth in comparable-store sales.
** ZOLTEK COS INC, $16.66, down 10 pct (1:37 p.m. ET)
Japan’s Toray Industries Inc said it has agreed to buy U.S.-based Zoltek for $584 million in order to increase its share of the worldwide carbon fibre market. The offer of $16.75 per share is at a premium of 2 percent to the stock’s Thursday closing price. The stock went up 12 percent after the offer on Thrusday.
** ENDURO ROYALTY TRUST, $12.58, down 16 pct (1:37 p.m. ET)
The trust formed by oil and gas company Enduro Resource Partners LLC said on Thursday that its offering of 11.2 million trust units was priced at $13.85 per unit.
** ENTROPIC COMMUNICATIONS INC, $4.35, up 0.4 pct (1:39 p.m. ET)
The company, which designs chipsets for video and broadband multimedia applications, announced a $30 million stock repurchase program on Thursday.
** NOVADAQ TECHNOLOGIES INC , $16.98, up 7 pct (10:26 a.m. ET)
Piper Jaffray raised its price target on the medical device maker’s stock to $26 from $16, citing positive feedback from hospitals and clinics for Novadaq’s imaging technology and the management’s confidence in meeting the company’s 2013 goals.
** INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY, $19.59, down 5 pct (1:38 p.m. ET)
Deutsche Bank cut its rating on the slot-machine maker’s stock to “hold” from “buy”, warning that full-year earnings may remain flat as challenges in the gaming industry increases. (Compiled by Aditi Shrivastava; Editing by Don Sebastian)