Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 4:00 p.m. in New York.
Miners dropped as gold and silver futures plunged amid speculation demand for haven investments is waning. Gold for February delivery fell 3.1 percent to $1,378.80 an ounce, and silver for March delivery slid 5.2 percent to $29.508 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) slipped 3.3 percent to $59.08. Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) slid 5 percent to $36.64. Royal Gold Inc. (RGLD) declined 3.7 percent to $52.25.
Energy producers fell as crude oil declined from a 27-month high. Crude for February delivery dropped 2.4 percent to $89.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) , the oil and natural gas driller, fell 2.7 percent to $22.72. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) dropped 2.44 percent to $37.52. Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) , the largest oilfield services provider, declined 2.4 percent to $81.63.
Alcoa Inc. (AA) jumped 4.6 percent to $16.52 for the biggest gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The largest U.S. aluminum producer was recommended as 2011’s “top stock” by CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, who said the shares may climb as high as $22.
Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NLY) fell 2.9 percent, the most since Sept. 30, to $17.35. The New York-based real estate investment trust said it plans an offering of 75 million shares.
Atheros Communications Inc. (ATHR US) rose 19 percent, to $44.00, the highest price since its initial offering in February 2004. The New York Times said Qualcomm Inc. is close to buying the Santa Clara, California-based maker of chips for use in Wi-Fi networks for $3.5 billion, or $45 a share, citing two people with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Borders Group Inc. (BGP US) slid 13 percent to 84 cents, the lowest price since March 2009. The second-largest U.S. bookstore chain said General Counsel Thomas D. Carney and Chief Information Officer D. Scott Laverty resigned as the retailer tries to refinance debt to avoid a “liquidity shortfall.”
BP Plc (BP/) rose 2.4 percent to $46.26, the highest since May 17. The U.K. company fighting legal claims after the biggest oil spill in U.S. history is seen by Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) as a possible merger partner, the Daily Mail newspaper said, citing unidentified people close to the company. Separately, the lawyer in charge of paying victims of the Gulf of Mexico accident said about half of BP’s $20 billion fund should be adequate to cover losses.
Home BancShares Inc. (HOMB) had the second-biggest decline in the Russell 2000 Index, slumping 12 percent to $20.23. The Conway, Arkansas-based bank said fourth-quarter earnings were reduced by at least $1.27 a share because of loan losses. Stephens Inc. cut the stock’s rating to “equal-weight” from “overweight.”
MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS US) rose 6.5 percent to $13.92 for the third-biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The U.S. pay-as-you-go mobile phone company had its share-price estimate increased to $20 from $15 at Deutsche Bank AG and was added to the firm’s “short-term buy” list.
Molycorp Inc. (MCP) rose 7.5 percent to $61.80, the highest price since July 29. The owner of the world’s largest rare-earth deposit outside of China said it may double its planned production to help meet global demand after China cut export quotas.
Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (MPWR) fell 6.6 percent, the most since Nov. 4, to $15.77. The maker of chips for liquid crystal display screens said Rick Neely resigned as chief financial officer to join a private company and will be succeeded by Meera Rao.
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) rose the most in the S&P 500, jumping 9.5 percent to $33.12. The smartphone maker spun off today from Motorola Inc. was rated “overweight” in new coverage by Barclays Plc and “outperform” by Cowen & Co.
Myriad Genetics Inc. (MYGN) dropped 2.2 percent to $21.73. The maker of a test for detecting inherited breast cancer “should have disappointing product cycles” in 2012, Gleacher & Co. analyst Amit Hazan said in a note.
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (OEH) gained 5 percent to $13.67, the most since Dec. 2009. The manager of luxury hotels, restaurants, tourist trains and river cruise properties was boosted to “overweight” from “neutral” by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)
Quanta Services Inc. (PWR) rose 4.2 percent to $20.88, the most since May 13. The power and telecommunications infrastructure company said its subsidiaries were awarded a $118.5 million contract to install a fiber optic network in Pennsylvania.
Safeway Inc. (SWY) dropped 3.8 percent to $21.64, the most since Dec. 2. The supermarket chain was cut to “market perform” from “outperform” at BMO Capital Markets.
Stericycle Inc. (SRCL) slipped 2.9 percent to $79.26, the most since March 24. The medical waste disposal company was cut to “underperform” from “neutral” at Bank of America Corp.
UQM Technologies Inc. (UQM) rose 15 percent to $2.66 for the second-biggest advance in the Russell 2000 Index. The maker of electric motors has increased its productive capacity and will provide details at an industry conference on Jan. 12.
Vulcan Materials Co. (VMC) slipped 5.2 percent to $42.14 for the second-biggest decline in the S&P 500. The maker of construction aggregates, asphalt mix and concrete, along with its peer Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (MLM) , was reduced to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. Timna Tanners, the analyst, said growing opposition to public spending on roads may hurt the companies.
Martin Marietta decreased 6.5 percent to $86.98. Fluor Corp. (FLR) , the largest publicly traded U.S. construction company, fell 4.8 percent to $64.55.
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