Oct (KOSDAQ: 039200.KQ - news) 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors looked to earnings to justify the market's recent rise to an all-time high. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 7.83 points, or 0.05 percent, to 15,391.82; the S&P 500 was up 0.62 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,745.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.153 points, or 0.28 percent, to 3,925.431.
Strong demand for tablets such as Apple's iPad will help worldwide shipments of web-enabled devices rise in 2013, offsetting a decline in desktop and laptop computers, research company Gartner (NYSE: IT - news) said.
The natural gas fuel provider for transportation in North America entered into an agreement with GE Capital's Transportation Finance business to accelerate the conversion of heavy-duty trucking fleet from diesel to cleaner-burning, less expensive natural gas. "We think this alliance will help to open up the natural gas market for long-haul operators," said Dan Clark, president and general manager of GE Capital, Transportation Finance.
** MCDONALD'S CORP, $94.29, down 0.9 pct (12:33 p.m. ET)
The fast food chain, dogged by lackluster economic growth and intense competition, warned that global sales at established restaurants would be relatively flat for October and signaled that weakness would continue in the fourth quarter.
** HALLIBURTON CO, $51.40, down 2.03 pct (12:33 p.m. ET)
The world's second-largest oilfield services company reported third-quarter earnings just a penny above what analysts had expected on average. Rivals Schlumberger Ltd and Baker Hughes Inc last week reported quarterly profits much above Street expectations.
Moreover, U.S. crude fell below $100 per barrel on Monday for the first time since July amid pressure from strong supplies.
The fourth-largest U.S. homebuilder said orders fell 7 percent to 2,381 houses in the third quarter while the cancellation rate rose to 19 percent from 17 percent a year earlier. Homebuilders have benefited from a recovery in the U.S. housing market since October 2011 but a recent rise in mortgage rates has hit demand.
** GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER CO, $21.27, down 6 pct (12:35 p.m. ET)
Deutsche Bank (LSE: 0H7D.L - news) cut its rating on the tire maker to "hold" from "buy," saying that the mid-term outlook for gross margins may not be as clear as it has been over the past two-to-three years. "North America, which accounts for 46 percent of Goodyear's sales, may face increased pressure as increased imports erode profitability of the low-value added (tire) market, and aggressive capacity expansions erode the high-value added market," analysts wrote in a note to clients on Friday.
** SALESFORCE.COM, $55.24, up 2.1 pct (12:37 p.m. ET)
Raymond James raised its rating on the sales and marketing software maker's stock to "strong buy" from "outperform," citing solid growth in its core sales cloud business and acceleration in revenue growth from ExactTarget, which it acquired in June.
** PHILIPS ELECTRONICS, $35.11, up 4.6 pct (12:25 p.m. ET)
The Dutch electronics group nearly trebled third-quarter profit after slashing a chunky 183 million euros from expenses. Philips (Amsterdam: PHIA.AS - news) has another two years of trimming already planned and more cost savings may be found. That should mean Philips meets its new profit-margins target.
** DEVON ENERGY CORP, $64.80, up 2.5 pct
U.S. oil and gas producer Devon said it would combine all its pipeline, processing and related infrastructure assets in the United States with assets owned by Crosstex Energy Inc and Crosstex Energy LP to form a new midstream business.
A customs dispute that had been holding up copper concentrate shipments from Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) 's massive Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia has been resolved, the company said. Turquoise Hill runs the $6 billion mine and is 66-percent owned by Rio Tinto.
** DELEK US HOLDINGS, $26.49, up 4.62 pct (12:44 p.m. ET)
Brokerage Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the oil refiner's stock to "buy" from "neutral," according to Theflyonthewall.com.
Piper Jaffrey upgraded the drugmaker's stock rating to "overweight" from "neutral," according to Theflyonthewall.com.
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, fell to its lowest in just over a month on Monday, as capesize and panamax rates slipped.
The drug developer said its lead experimental cancer drug Zybrestat reduced the size of tumors and the over-secretion of insulin in a mouse model with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, which are rare tumors that form from hormone-producing cells in the pancreas. The company presented data from the preclinical study at a medical conference in Boston on Oct. 20, it said in a release issued on Monday.
** OPHTHOTECH CORP, $31.31, up 7 pct (11:26 a.m. ET)
Four brokerages began coverage of the biotechnology company's stock with high ratings, saying that its experimental drug to treat a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, has a good chance of success.
A J.P. Morgan (Other OTC: MGHL - news) analyst said the drug, Fovista, which is intended to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD (NYSE: AMD - news) ), is likely to succeed, especially in combination with Roche Holding (Other OTC: RHHBY - news) AG's drug, Lucentis. He has an "overweight" rating on the stock.
Leerink Swann analysts started the stock with an "outperform" rating. Morgan Stanley (Xetra: 885836 - news) has an "overweight" rating and Stifel Nicolaus has a "buy" rating for the eye-drug developer, according to Theflyonthewall.com.
The bank reached a tentative $13 billion deal with the U.S. Justice Department and other government agencies to settle investigations into bad mortgage loans it sold to investors before the financial crisis, a source familiar with the talks said on Saturday.
** ORACLE CORP, $33.08, up 0.5 pct
German business software firm, SAP, bucked the trend among rivals by keeping its 2013 profit forecast, buoyed by strong demand for its web-based software, though it warned volatile exchange rates could hit its reported results.
** AT&T INC, $35.13, up 1.5 pct (1:03 p.m. ET)
Crown Castle, which owns, operates and leases shared wireless infrastructure, including towers, will buy rights to AT&T (NYSE: T - news) towers for $4.85 billion. AT&T expects the deal to close this year. Crown Castle will have exclusive rights to the towers for an average 28 years.
** SOLARCITY CORP, $63.14, up 6.2 pct (1:03 p.m. ET)
Analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch resumed their coverage on solar system installer SolarCity (Stuttgart: A1J6UM - news) 's stock with a "buy" rating, according to Theflyonthewall.com. Shares of the company have risen over 26 percent in the past week.
Real Goods Solar's shares also jumped on the news.
The solar modules producer said it was awarded a contract to supply 1.78 megawatt solar panels for a power project in Saudi Arabia.
Susquehanna Financial Group upgraded its rating on the Victoria's Secret parent's stock to "positive" from "neutral," saying the company is well-positioned to outpace the mall-based retailer sector, even though the retail landscape remains choppy and the holiday selling season will be highly competitive.
The drug developer said the U.S. health regulator assigned June 7, 2014 as the review date for the marketing application of its drug, Zerenex, to treat patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.
The second-largest U.S. toy company, whose popular brands include Monopoly, Nerf and My Little Pony, reported a higher-than-expected profit for the third quarter as strong overseas demand helped it offset weakness at home.
The company said its eye drug, Eylea, in a late-stage trial improved vision in patients suffering from a common form of vision loss caused by a blood clot in the veins of the retina.
The health information provider said it will buy back all its shares beneficially owned by activist investor Carl Icahn and affiliates.
The media company is extremely well positioned to again dominate the Internet, CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer said on Friday and rated the stock "buy."
The network services provider agreed to be bought by Marlin Equity Partners for $891 million. Entities affiliated with Marlin offered $2.45 per share, representing a 4.3 percent premium to the stock's Friday close. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, Tellabs said.
The company reported third-quarter results well above analysts' expectations and raised its full-year profit forecast due to higher sales of its water heaters in a recovering U.S. housing market.
** VF CORP, $212.49, up 4 pct (1:21 p.m. ET)
The maker of The North Face clothes and Vans shoes reported better-than-expected quarterly profit as strong sales in its higher-margin outdoor and action sports brands boosted gross margins.
The oil and gas producer said it signed an agreement to acquire oil-producing properties located in the Uinta Basin, northeast Utah, for $650 million.
The mobile services and data company cut its full-year outlook for its total billable subscriber growth and its total service revenue growth hurt by lower equipment sales.
** VOXELJET AG, $33.08, up 14.8 pct (1:24 p.m. ET)
** EXONE CO, $52.29, down 4 pct
The Germany-based 3D printer maker's shares added to gains from their Friday debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares had risen as much as 45 percent in their debut, raising questions about whether the offering had been priced too low. The company priced its offering at $13 per American Depositary Shares, the low end of it pricing range.
Shares of rival ExOne were down.
** D.R. HORTON INC, $18.64, down 1.9 pct (1:26 p.m. ET)
U.S. home resales fell in September and prices rose at their slowest pace in five months, the latest signs higher mortgage rates were taking some edge off the housing market recovery. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday a combination of high home prices, barely rising salaries and higher mortgage rates was weighing down on affordability, which hit a five-year low in September.
** BOISE CASCADE CO, $26.76, up 6.6 pct (1.30 p.m. ET)
The maker of wood products for the construction industry reported third-quarter results that beat analysts estimates as the company sold more engineered wood products and building materials at higher prices during the quarter.
The drugmaker's stock fell for the the second day after it filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, announcing a common stock offering of up to $90 million. Stemline did not disclose the number of shares on offer or the selling price
The stem cell products maker said it will now have to seek U.S. regulatory approval for certain expanded indications for its regenerative wound care product Grafix.
Grafix and Ovation, which are human cellular and tissue-based products, require no regulatory approval for testing or marketing. However, the Food and Drug Administration recently raised concerns related to the regulatory status of the biosurgery products. [ http://r.reuters.com/taj93v ]
Lazard Capital analyst Joshua Schimmer said the company's sleep disorder drug is likely to receive a positive vote from an independent panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will review its marketing approval application on November 14. Vanda shares fell on Thursday and Friday after it said the drug, Hetlioz, would be reviewed at an FDA advisory committee meeting.
Shares of the company rose for the third consecutive day of trading after it announced that its one-for-twenty reverse stock split had come into effect on Wednesday.
** AMARIN CORP PLC, $2.37, up 17 pct (01:04 p.m. ET)
The company's shares gained back some of their value after crashing more than 60 percent on Oct. 17, a day after an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted against allowing the company's triglyceride-lowering drug for use in a broader patient population.
** CELANESE CORP, $55.87, up 3.5 pct (11:45 a.m. ET)
The chemical maker reported third-quarter results after markets closed on Friday. Its profit beat analysts' average estimates, due in part to better operating rates and productivity.
** CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT INC, $17.40, down 7 pct (1:08 p.m. ET)
The company said it was withdrawing from a $1 billion casino joint venture in Massachusetts, and that a subsidiary was being investigated by the federal grand jury over possible violations of federal anti-money-laundering laws.
The oncology company said an early-stage trial of its experimental drug ME-344 showed preliminary evidence of clinical activity.
The drug is being studied as a treatment in patients with refractory solid tumors.
The world's third-largest staffing company forecast current-quarter profit above analysts' expectations and reported a 50 percent jump in quarterly profit. Shares rose as much as 3 percent on Monday morning, but lost the gain to trade flat.
"The stock has performed very well this year. It would have taken a lot of positive surprise to push it higher," Avondale Partners (Frankfurt: A0JJY6 - news) analyst Randle Reece said. Manpower shares have risen about 87 percent from the start of the year to Friday's close.
** CHINA MOBILE LTD, $53.02, down 4 pct (1:39 p.m. ET)
The world's biggest mobile operator by subscribers missed expectations on Monday with a nearly 9 percent drop in third-quarter net profit as social messaging applications ate into the company's traditional revenue streams.
** GANNETT CO, $26.20, down 4.6 pct (1:42 p.m. ET)
The largest U.S. newspaper chain and publisher of USA Today reported a 4 percent drop in third-quarter revenue on Monday as a persistent decline in advertising sales has dogged the industry. (Compiled by Sampad Patnaik; Editing by Joyjeet Das)