Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading.
Nikola — Shares of Nikola soared more than 34% after JPMorgan hiked its rating on the controversial electric vehicle company to overweight from neutral. The bank said the stock looks attractive for long-term investors after a 40% plunge this month alone. JPMorgan also cited a number of positive drivers for Nikola on the horizon, including partnerships and regulatory reliefs.
United Airlines — The carrier's stock fell 3% initially after it warned 36,000 employs of potential job cuts. Federal law requires employers to provide 60-days notice about possible layoffs or temporary furloughs. United was among the airlines that took $25 billion in federal payroll support and is prohibited from trimming staff or pay until Oct. 1. The stock finished the day flat.
Kohl's — Shares of the retailer jumped more than 9% following an upgrade to buy from neutral from Bank of America. The firm said "upside risks" outweigh the downside and likes the company's "value proposition."
Twitter — Shares rose more than 7% after the company posted a job listing for a new team, codenamed Gryphon, that will focus on building a subscription platform. Shares of the social media company are up more than 17% this month.
Levi Strauss — Shares of the denim maker dropped more than 8% after the company reported a 62% fall in sales during its fiscal second quarter. It also announced it will be slashing about 15% of its global corporate workforce, impacting about 700 jobs.
Biogen — Shares of the pharmaceutical company rose more than 4% after Biogen said it submitted its application to the FDA for its Alzheimer's treatment, Aducanumab. Biogen said it would be first approved treatment to address the course of Alzheimer's.
National General Holdings — Shares of National General Holdings surged more than 60% after insurer Allstate agreed to buy the company for about $4 billion as it looks to expand the personal lines insurance business. National General shareholders will receive $32.00 per share in cash from Allstate, plus closing dividends expected to be $2.50 per share, providing $34.50 in total value per share.
Taylor Morrison Home, Lennar, Toll Brothers — Shares of home builders rose after Taylor Morrison Home reported net sales orders in June nearly doubled compared with last year. Closings also rose 24% in the second quarter compared with the prior year. Taylor Morrison's stock surged more than 16%, while shares of Toll Brothers and Lennar gained more than 5% each.
Ascena Retail Group — Shares of Ann Taylor's parent company plunged 20% after Bloomberg News reported that it was preparing to file bankruptcy. Ascena is also planning to close more than one-third of its retail locations, according to the report. The stock was trading below $1 per share, down from more than $8 per share earlier this year.
Synaptics — Shares of Synaptics surged more than 13% after the hardware company agreed to acquire wireless Internet of Things business from Broadcom for $250 million in cash. Synaptics expects the transaction to add approximately $65 million in current annualized sales and provide significant revenue growth potential.
CNBC's Jesse Pound, Maggie Fitzgerald and Pippa Stevens contributed reporting.
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