MARKET PULSE- Zynga, Avon, Curtiss-Wright, Inteliquent, Primero
Oct 5 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Friday:
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WALL STREET TO RISE AFTER SURPRISE DROP IN JOBLESS RATE
U.S. stocks were poised to rise at the open, with the S&P 500 set to hit its highest since 2007, as a surprise drop in the jobless rate gives legs to this week's rally.
Labor Department data showed the unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage point in September to 7.8 percent, its lowest since January 2009, even as Americans came back into the labor force to resume the hunt for work.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 51 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 14 points.
** PRIMERO MINING CORP , Thursday close $5.40, up 29 pct premarket
The precious metals producer's stock rose on a favorable ruling from Mexican tax authorities.
** ZYNGA INC , Thursday close $2.81, down 22.4 pct premarket
** FACEBOOK INC , Thursday close $21.94, down 2.7 pct premarket
** GROUPON INC , Thursday close $4.80, down 2.7 pct premarket
Brokerages lowered their price targets on Zynga's stock by up to $3 per share after the social-games maker slashed its 2012 outlook for the second time due to a decline in paying customers.
Facebook, which derives over a tenth of its revenue from fees paid by Zynga, was also set to open lower as was Groupon.
** HEWLETT-PACKARD CO , Thursday close $14.94, down 0.9 pct premarket
Sterne Agee & Leach downgraded the stock to "neutral" while RBC Capital Markets, Robert W. Baird & Co, Jefferies & Co and J.P. Morgan Securities cut their price targets on after CEO Meg Whitman warned of an unexpectedly steep earnings slide in 2013.
F5 NETWORKS INC , Thursday close $107.43, down 1.8 pct premarket
Barclays Capital downgraded the network gear maker's stock to "equal weight" from "overweight" and cut its price target on the stock to $105 from $115.
** TRIQUINT SEMICONDUCTOR INC , Thursday close $5.01, up 2 pct premarket
Lazard Capital Markets started coverage on the chipmaker's stock with a "buy" rating.
** MERCURY COMPUTER SYSTEMS INC , Thursday close $9.64, down 15 pct premarket
Lazard Capital Markets downgraded the signal and image processing systems maker to "neutral." Jefferies & Co cuts cut its price target on the stock to $7.70 from $12.
** CONSTELLATION BRANDS INC , Thursday close $34.72, up 1.7 pct premarket
The world's largest branded-wine company reported a lower quarterly profit but revenue rose, helped by new products in its beer, wine and spirits businesses.
** ARBOR REALTY TRUST INC , Thursday close $6.05, down 5 pct premarket
The real estate finance company announced a public offering of 3.5 million common shares.
** NUVASIVE INC , Thursday close $15.19, down 1.1 pct premarket
BMO Capital Markets downgraded the stock to "underperform" from "market perform" and lowered its price target to $15 from $23.
** ANACOR PHARMACEUTICALS INC , Thursday close $6.81
The company said its partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc stopped the development of their mid-stage experimental antibiotic to treat urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections.
** CLEARWATER PAPER CORP , Thursday close $40.88
The company which makes paper napkins and packaging paper, said Chief Executive Gordon Jones will retire at the end of the year and Chief Operating Officer Linda Massman will take over.
** AVON PRODUCTS INC , Thursday close $16.22, up 4 pct premarket
The cosmetics company said Executive Chairman Andrea Jung, who was replaced as chief executive in April, has decided to step down from the board at the end of 2012, ending what became a tumultuous tenure in recent years.
** CURTISS-WRIGHT CORP , Thursday close $32.94, down 5.3 pct premarket
The aerospace and defense component maker slashed its third-quarter earnings forecast, blaming a labor strike and delays in orders in its oil and gas business.
** WET SEAL INC , Thursday close $3.14, up 0.63 pct premarket
The clothing retailer replaced four of its board members with Clinton Group nominees, ending months of attempts by the activist investor to take control of the board.
** INTELIQUENT , Thursday close $9.06, up 7.4 pct premarket
The network connectivity services provider declared a special one-time cash dividend of $3 per share.
** ORACLE CORP , Thursday close $31.89, up 0.5 premarket
The company has all the pieces it needs to compete in cloud computing but is always interested in looking at compelling M&A opportunities, Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz told investors.
** INFORMATICA CORP , Thursday close $26.03, up 1.8 pct premarket
Nomura Equity Research upgraded the software maker to "buy" from "neutral," saying while it may take time for the company to turn its sales force issues around, the stock is trading at an attractive level after Thursday's 23 percent drop.
** CISCO SYSTEMS INC , Thursday close $18.89, up 0.6 pct premarket
The networking equipment company is expanding the roles of two executives that it has identified as possible candidates to succeed long-serving Chief Executive John Chambers.
** NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL CORP , Thursday close $21.43
The embattled U.S. truck and engine maker is cutting administrative and engineering spending and may close factories as it lowers costs, the company's newly named chief executive said on Thursday.
** SPRINT NEXTEL CORP , Thursday close $5.09, up 1.8 pct premarket
** METROPCS COMMUNICATIONS INC , Thursday close $12.69, up 0.2 pct premarket
** AT&T INC , Thursday close $37.90, up 0.4pct premarket
Sprint Nextel is considering making a rival bid for MetroPCS, which agreed on Wednesday to a merger with Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA, according to people familiar with the situation.
** THE MEDICINES CO , Thursday close $26.64, down 1.5 pct premarket
The company said it discontinued a mid-stage study of its experimental drug to reduce blood loss during surgery due to evidence of risk to patients.
** GOOGLE INC , Thursday close $768.05
The company and a group of publishers have agreed to a settlement over making digital copies of books, capping seven years of litigation prompted by the search giant's effort to become the world's digital library.
** FAMILY DOLLAR STORES INC , Thursday close $68.65
Nomura Equity Research raised its price target on the stock to $68 from $60, saying fourth-quarter results showed improvement in key metrics like same-store profit and gross margins.
** KAYDON CORP , Thursday close $22.68
The company, which makes specialty ball bearings for wind turbines, said it would shut a South Carolina plant and record a charge of between $47 million and $52 million due to the impending expiration of a renewable energy tax credit and weak markets.
** UNION PACIFIC CORP , Thursday close $121.57
Jefferies & Co raised its price target on the stock by $1 to $142 citing benefits from continued strength in intermodal traffic and strong underlying industry pricing.
** GLOBAL PARTNERS LP , Thursday close $26.71
The company which distributes petroleum products, said it will buy a majority stake in two transloading facilities in North Dakota for about $80 million to expand its presence in the energy-rich Bakken region.
(Complied by Aditi Shrivastava in Bangalore)
Keywords: MARKETS USA STOCKS/PULSE