MARKET PULSE-Molex, potash stocks, Biodel, Groupon, SunEdison, Fusion-IO
Sept. 9 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Monday:
CHINA DATA HELPS WALL ST GAIN FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT DAY
U.S. stocks rose, helping the S&P advance for a fifth straight day following upbeat economic data from China, though concerns about the possibility of a Western strike against Syria tempered investor enthusiasm.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.67 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.71 percent.
** MOLEX INC, $38.47, up 31 pct (9:51 a.m. ET)
The maker of electronic connectors and cable assembly products said privately owned energy and chemicals conglomerate Koch Industries would buy it for about $7.2 billion.
** MOSAIC CO, $43.92, up 4 pct (11:56 a.m. ET)
** POTASH CORP, $31.55, up 4.6 pct
** INTREPID POTASH INC, $13.51, up 4.6 pct
Shares of fertilizer companies jumped after Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that it was necessary to resolve a potash dispute with Belarus.
These were Putin's first comments since potash group Uralkali quit the Russia-Belarus trading agreement in July - rocking the global potash industry and sparking a diplomatic and trade row that led to Belarus arresting Uralkali's head Vladislav Baumgertner.
** DRYSHIPS INC, $3.11, up 8 pct (10:45 a.m. ET)
** SINO-GLOBAL SHIPPING AMERICA LTD, $2.99, up 8 pct
** EAGLE BULK SHIPPING INC, $5.34, up 5 pct
** BALTIC TRADING LTD, $5.48, up 5.2 pct
** NAVIOS MARITIME HOLDINGS INC, $7.49, up 4 pct
** DIANA SHIPPING INC, $13.05, up 2 pct
Shares of drybulk shipping companies rose as the Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index recorded the biggest percentage jump in four years on Monday due to higher demand for capesize and panamax vessels.
The index, which tracks freight rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities such as coal, iron ore and grain, climbed 126 points to 1,478 points, its highest level since Sept. 2, 2009.
** TOWERS WATSON & CO, $90.72, up 7 pct (11:59 a.m. ET)
International Business Machines Corp said on Friday that it would move retirees from the company-sponsored health plan to private insurance exchange Extend Health, owned by Towers Watson.
** MTR GAMING GROUP, $4.14, up 16 pct (9:47 a.m. ET)
The racetrack, gaming and hotel operator said it would be bought by privately held company, Eldorado Resorts, in a stock merger. Under the deal, MTR stockholders can choose to be paid in cash at $5.15 per share for up to 5.8 million shares. The remaining shares will be exchanged for shares in a combined new company. Eldorado will own 55 percent of the combined company, Eldorado Resorts Inc, which will be publicly traded.
** APPLE INC, $505.60, up 1.5 pct (9:31 a.m. ET)
Brokerage FBN Securities raised its price target on the company's stock to $600 from $575 in anticipation of Apple making an announcement of its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on Tuesday. The brokerage said it expected the phones to start shipping on Sept. 20. FBN sees the iPhone 5C as an opportunity for Apple to be successful in China.
** GROUPON INC, $11.27, up 5 pct (10:49 a.m. ET)
The online coupon company said it bought last-minute travel app Blink to boost its growing Groupon Getaways travel business. Madrid-based Blink works with more than 2,000 hotel partners in eight European countries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
** UNILIFE CORP, $3.64, up 18 pct (9:35 a.m. ET)
The medical device maker said it entered into a long-term contract to supply pre-filled syringes to Sanofi SA for use with Sanofi's thrombosis drug, Lovenox.
In addition to future revenue from the sale of the syringes, Unilife may receive up to $15 million from Sanofi in milestone payments, with $5 million expected in 2013. The contract period can extend up to 2024.
** GREEN DOT CORP, $24.73, up 4 pct (12:02 p.m. ET)
SunTrust raised its rating on the prepaid debit card issuer's stock to "neutral" from "reduce" as it believes faster growth in the usage of cards will drive the company's growth. The brokerage also raised its price target on the stock to $26 from $17.
** COMERICA INC, $41.00, down 0.6 pct (12:03 p.m. ET)
BMO cut its price target on the bank's stock to $41 from $42, saying average loan balance in the third quarter to date was down about 6 percent from the second quarter. Industry-wide loan growth has also weakened in the third quarter, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
** ROSETTA GENOMICS LTD, $3.41, up 8 pct (10:43 a.m. ET)
The diagnostic test maker said it has signed credentialing agreements with FedMed Inc and Fortified Provider Network Inc for its Cancer Origin test, expanding the company's access to managed care organizations in the United States.
** BIOLINERX LTD, $2.33, up 11 pct (10:16 a.m. ET)
The drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an orphan drug designation to the company's experimental blood cancer drug.
The orphan drug status entitles the company to seven years of market exclusivity in the United States. It is given to drugs that are intended to treat rare diseases affecting not more than 200,000 people in the United States.
** SUNEDISON INC, $7.66, down 1.4 pct (11:50 a.m. ET)
The company filed to spin off its semiconductor unit, SunEdison Semiconductor, through an initial public offering of up to $250 million, as the company looks to focus on its high-margin solar power business.
** SAGENT PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $21.91, down 7.3 pct (10:19 a.m. ET)
The company said it would offer about 3.4 million common shares and plans to use the proceeds to fund expenses and product development, and for general corporate purposes.
** FUSION-IO INC, $12.99, up 19.9 pct (11:42 a.m. ET)
** SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY PLC, $39.73, up 1.2 pct
** WESTERN DIGITAL CORP, $64.68, down 0.4 pct
FBN Securities upgraded Seagate Technology's stock to "outperform" from "sector perform," raising its price target to $15 from $13 as it expects the storage drive maker to make a bid for Fusion-Io to counter hard drive maker Western Digital Corp's "increasing enterprise flash assets."
Western Digital said it would buy Virident Systems Inc, a maker of flash memory for servers, for $685 million in cash.
** SPHERIX INC, $11.60, up 5.7 pct (10:20 a.m. ET)
The lifesciences company said it has filed a second lawsuit against Uniden Corp for patent infringement related to its cordless handset patents.
** QUIKSILVER INC, $6.95, up 1.5 pct (9:35 a.m. ET)
Credit Suisse raised its rating on the apparel and accessories retailer's stock to "outperform" from "neutral," according to Theflyonthewall.com.
** COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS INC, $37.96, down 4 pct (11:51 a.m. ET)
Citigroup downgraded the U.S. hospital operator's stock to "neutral" from "buy" and lowered the price target to $42 from $60, according to the website Benzinga.com.
** BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS, $7.73, up 3.6 pct (9:36 a.m. ET)
Brokerage RBC Capital Markets upgraded the network equipment maker's stock to "outperform" from "sector perform" as it expects strong demand for Brocade's Fiber Channel protocol. The brokerage also expects the company to buy back shares and possibly issue its first ever dividend. RBC raised its price target on the company's stock to $10 from $7. Brocade's Fiber Channel protocol based networking products are used to build storage area networks.
** LIQUIDITY SERVICES INC, $32.09, up 7 pct (11:53 a.m. ET)
The online auction marketplace posted on Friday transaction volumes of $90.4 million for August, a 14 percent jump from a year earlier. In a note to clients, Robert W. Baird & Co analyst Colin Sebastian said the August data shows further improvement in marketplace velocity.
** XEROX INC, $10.10, up 0.7 pct (9:36 a.m. ET)
Commercial printer OTC Group said it bought the company's Xerox Automated Packaging Solution for iGen4 for its new digital folding carton packaging business. With this, OTC will be able to offer more digital folding carton packaging options to its customers in the consumer packaged goods, food and pharmaceutical industries.
** HANWHA SOLARONE CO LTD, $3.68, down 7 pct (9:45 a.m. ET)
The company, which makes silicon ingots, silicon wafers and photovoltaic modules in China, reported a smaller loss for the second quarter, but said it had no plans to add more capacity in the near term.
** SOLARCITY CORP, $29.08, down 1.8 pct (9:37 a.m. ET)
The U.S. solar installer, which is backed by Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, said shareholder Paramount GR Holdings would sell 3.7 million shares of the company. SolarCity said last month that it would buy direct-marketing solar company Paramount Solar for about $120 million in a deal intended to help cut the cost of acquiring new customers.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC, $2.82, up 6.4 pct (9:37 a.m. ET)
The company said its cancer drug, Reolysin, reduced the size of tumors in 92 percent of lung cancer patients in a mid-stage trial.
** ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $31.03, up 11 pct (9:38 a.m. ET)
Biogen Idec Inc has agreed to pay another $100 million upfront to the drugmaker as a part of a broad collaboration to develop new medicines for neurological disorders, the companies said.
** DELTA AIRLINES, $21.10, up 6 pct (9:38 a.m. ET)
The U.S. airline will join the S&P 500 index after the close of trading on Sept. 10, replacing BMC Software, Standard & Poor's said on Friday.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, $11.08, up 5 pct (11:03 a.m. ET)
The company's largest shareholder, Prem Watsa, has assembled billions in backing from Canada's biggest pension funds for a bid, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday. (http://link.reuters.com/caz82v)
Watsa is the founder and chairman of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd that holds about 10 percent stake in the company.
** SMITHFIELD FOODS INC, $34.18, up 0.8 pct (9:39 a.m. ET)
The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment has cleared the way for Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd's proposed $4.7 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods, the companies said.
** MULTIMEDIA GAMES HOLDING CO INC, $36.85, down 2 pct (9:56 a.m. ET)
Brokerage Janney Capital Markets cut its rating on the gaming machine maker's stock to "neutral" from "buy," citing a challenging 2014 for the whole gaming equipment industry.
** NETAPP INC, $42.71, up 1 pct (9:39 a.m. ET)
Brokerage UBS Investment Research raised its rating on the data storage equipment maker's stock to "buy" from "neutral," according to the website Theflyonthewall.com.
** SONY CORP, $21.24, up 1 pct (9:40 a.m. ET)
The electronics maker announced the Japanese release of its PlayStation 4 on Monday as the company braces for a gaming console war with Microsoft Corp that could make or break the Japanese firm's struggle to return to profit.
(Compiled by Varun Aggarwal; Editing by Kirti Pandey)