AstraZeneca rose after the FDA approved its drug to treat type 2 diabetes. The medicine was co-developed with Bristol-Myers Squibb, but Astra bought out Bristol's stake in their joint venture late last year.
Barnes & Noble moved higher after naming president Michael Huseby as its new CEO, replacing William Lynch who resigned in July.
Rite Aid gained ground after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral.
Union Pacific moved higher after Bernstein upgraded the railroad operator to outperform from market perform.
MetLife rose after Citi upgraded the company to buy from neutral.
Hess moved a bit higher after the oil-and-gas company said it would spin off its gas-station business.
Monsanto gained after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings as higher herbicide sales offset a decline in sales from its corn portfolio.
NuPathe jumped after it said it receive a buyout offer from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for $114 million plus milestone payments related to a migraine treatment.
Rovi rose after it announced it signed a multi-year patent licensing agreement with Google. It also signed or renewed licensing agreements with Sharp, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Rich Fisherman.
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