MARKET PULSE-J.C. Penney, Oncothyreon, Mako, Foundation Medicine


Sept 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped in choppy trading on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 eyeing a fifth day of losses, as a lack of progress in budget negotiations in Washington puzzled investors. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5.46 points, or 0.04 percent, to 15,329.13, the S&P 500 lost 1.17 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,696.25 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.958 points, or 0.05 percent, to 3,766.296.

** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, $10.21, down 14 pct (11:01 a.m. ET)

The struggling retailer's shares tumbled to their lowest in nearly 13 years on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs said it expects sales at the troubled department store chain to improve more slowly than expected.

** 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.

** PACIFIC BIOSCIENCES OF CALIFORNIA INC, $4.95, up 43 pct (10:24 a.m. ET)

Pacific Biosciences of California Inc said it licensed its technology to develop DNA-sequencing products to Roche Diagnostics. The company will get an upfront payment of $35 million from Roche, and expects to get an additional $40 million in milestone payments.

** 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.

** FOUNDATION MEDICINE INC, $32.19, up 78.8 pct (12:06 p.m. ET)

The cancer diagnostic company's shares rose as much as 89 percent in their market debut as investors bet on the potential of genomics in the treatment of the disease.

** CHATHAM LODGING TRUST, $18.12, down 6.5 pct (10:04 a.m. ET)

The hotel investment company priced its public offering of 3.3 million shares at $18.35 per share, below its Tuesday closing price.

** TESLA MOTORS INC $185.26, up 1.5 pct (12:50 p.m ET)

Tesla shares fell 1 percent before recovering their losses by early afternoon. The stock has risen more than 440 percent this year.

Short-seller Citron Research said much of the bull case made for the electric car maker was based on "oversimplification" and did not take into account the prospect of tough competition from major carmakers for its upcoming mass-market electric car.

** UNIPIXEL INC, $18.14, up 13 pct (10:11 a.m. ET)

The LCD film maker's shares were up on reports that the company and Eastman Kodak Co have made significant progress in their joint effort to manufacture and market UniPixel's next-generation touch-screen sensor film, according to Benzinga. ()

** 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.

** PACIRA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $45.57, up 7 pct (10 a.m. ET)

Barclays Capital analysts raised their price target on the stock to $56 from $43, saying the specialty pharmaceutical company's post-surgical pain treatment, Exparel, and its broadening use, particularly in orthopedic surgery, have bolstered the drug's commercial expectations.

** GLU MOBILE INC, $2.63, up 10.7 pct (11:33 a.m. ET)

The mobile game maker said 'Deer Hunter 2014' released on Sept. 18 on Apple Inc's iOS and Mac platforms ranked seventh on U.S. App Store Top Grossing chart position for iPhone.

** 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.

** SILVER SPRING NETWORKS INC, $17.56, up 8 pct (10:29 a.m. ET)

The smartgrid company said it expanded a project with power supplier EDP Distribuição in Portugal, following a successful pilot project.

Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral", according to ()

** 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.


The Chinese restaurant chain said it expects to meet the top end of its prior revenue forecast range of $61.9-$63.5 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30 as cheaper pricing drove higher customer traffic. The company also estimated third-quarter same-store sales to be in the mid-to-high-single digits.

** AMAG PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $22.56, down 13.8 pct (10:52 a.m. ET)

The company received a notification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding certain deficiencies in the company's application to extend the use of its approved kidney drug, Feraheme. The FDA has set a review date of Oct. 21 for the application, the company said in a regulatory filing.

** 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.

** RENESOLA LTD, $4.39, up 10 pct (11:35 a.m. ET)

** TRINA SOLAR LTD, $12.81, up 9 pct

** JA SOLAR HOLDINGS CO LTD, $9.47, up 8 pct


Shares of Chinese solar panel producers continued to rise for the second day after the U.S. trade group Solar Energy Industries Association proposed a deal on Monday that could lift United States' steep import duties on Chinese-made solar products, which have raised production costs for Chinese solar panel makers. ()

"I think this is a non-starter (as a political matter), but the headline seems to have gotten the bulls excited," said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.

** 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.

** MANITEX INTERNATIONAL, $10.79, down 6 pct (01:02 p.m. ET)

The maker of cranes and forklifts said it would offer $14.8 million shares at $10.75 per share, a 6 percent discount to the stock's Tuesday's closing price of $11.49.

** CTRIP.COM INTERNATIONAL LTD, $55.36, up 8 pct (11:46 a.m. ET)

Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the company's stock to "buy" from "hold", citing the travel service provider's emerging strength in the mobile space. The brokerage said it expects Ctrip's revenue and earnings to reaccelerate despite intensifying competition.

** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $7.4, up 7.6 pct ( 11:27 a.m. ET)

The Canadian biopharmaceutical company said data from preclinical studies showed that its experimental drug demonstrated potent anti-viral activity against the most pathogenic strain of the Marburg virus.

** 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

** 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.

** MISONIX INC, $4.50, down 6.1 pct (10:32 a.m. ET)

The surgical device maker reported a fourth-quarter loss of 22 cents per share on net sales of $3.8 million due to decreasing sales of its liposuction device, Lysonix, and a fall in royalty from its blood thickening device, AutoSonix.

** BRAVO BRIO RESTAURANT GROUP INC, $0.84, down 5.2 pct (10:37 a.m E.T)

Piper Jaffray downgraded the upscale casual dining chain's stock to "neutral" from "overweight", according to

** FIFTH & PACIFIC COS, $23.79, down 4.3 pct (10:55 a.m. ET)

The frontrunners to acquire the apparel and accessories maker's Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture have both dropped out, Women's Wear Daily said in a report citing sources. ()

IDG Capital dropped out of the bidding for Juicy last week, sources told WWD. Fifth & Pacific had been in exclusive talks with private equity firm Advent International for Lucky, but the deal fell apart late last month.

** 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".

** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $7.84, up 5 pct (11:00 a.m. ET)

** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.76, up 5 pct

** BALTIC TRADING LTD, $5.32, up 6 pct

** PARAGON SHIPPING INC, $5.95, up 4 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 up about 5 percent on Wednesday.

** ORANGE SA,, $12.28, up 3.36 pct (11:40 a.m. ET)

France's finance ministry is investigating the conditions that Apple imposes on mobile operators that sell its smartphones, according to French media BFMTV.

Telecom operators such as France's Orange and Vivendi's SFR have often complained in private about the sway that Apple holds in negotiations since no operator could afford not to have the iPhone in its line-up.

** UBIQUITI NETWORKS INC, $34.52, up 9.5 pct (12:16 p.m. ET)

Brokerage JMP Securities raised its price target on the wireless products maker's stock to $41 from $35, saying demand for its products has been robust, with particular strength in the company's wireless local area network business. JMP maintained its "market outperform" rating on the stock.

** ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI, $13.34, up 5.7 pct (11:39 a.m. ET)

The South African gold miner said the Kibali Mine in Congo delivered its first gold production early and within budget. AngloGold owns a 45 percent stake in the mine.

** SYNAGEVA BIOPHARMA CORP, $60.26, up 6.4 pct (11:14 a.m. ET)

The specialty pharmaceutical company, focused on the developemnt of drugs for rare disorders, said it will offer 2.75 million common shares at $56.63 per share.

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

Infinity Pharmaceuticals 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.

** CROWN HOLDINGS INC $42.68, down 2 pct (10:31 a.m. ET)

The company, which makes cans for food and beverages, lowered its current quarter profit forecast citing weak demand in European food cans and North American beverage cans business.



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