(Corrects to say Transocean and Chevron may face a ban in Brazil.)
Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 4 p.m. in New York.
Alleghany Corp. (Y) fell 6.8 percent, the most since Aug. 10, to $293.01. The property and liability insurer agreed to buy reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings Inc. (TRH) for $3.4 billion in cash and stock and said it would appoint a former Berkshire Hathaway Inc. executive as chairman of the target company.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) slipped 4 percent to $189.25, the lowest price since Aug. 22. The world’s largest Internet retailer’s shares signaled “a major change in trend,” as the stock traded below its average price in the past 150 days and volume “remains heavy” on days when prices are lower, according to Carter Worth, chief market technician at Oppenheimer & Co.
Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) rose 8.2 percent, the most since Nov. 2, to $1.59. The wholesale wireless carrier’s warning that it could skip a debt payment coming due on Dec. 1 may be a “ploy” to win financial support from partner Sprint Nextel Corp. (S US) or another company, said John Fruit, manager of the Nuveen High Income Bond Fund.
Cooper Industries Plc (CBE) gained 2.6 percent, the most since Nov. 3, to $53.51. The Houston-based maker of electrical distribution equipment will replace Janus Capital Group Inc. (JNS) in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index after the close of trading on Nov. 22. Janus will join the S&P MidCap 400 Index, taking DPL Inc. (DPL)’s place, S&P said.
Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) rose 4.7 percent to $8.73, the highest price since Nov. 2. The maker of the prostate-cancer drug Provenge said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will cover infusion costs associated with the administration of the medicine.
ELong Inc. (LONG) rallied 10 percent to $15.41, the highest price since Oct. 21. Expedia Inc. (EXPE US) said it bought Renren Inc.’s (RENN US) stake in the Chinese online- travel company for $72.4 million. Renren retreated 8.9 percent to $3.90.
Focus Media Holding Ltd. (FMCN) plunged 39 percent, the most since November 2008, to $15.43. Muddy Waters LLC, the short-selling firm known for prompting Sino-Forest Corp.’s retreat, recommended betting against the Shanghai-based digital advertising company.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) slid 9.1 percent, the most in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, to $36.26. The world’s biggest seller of AIDS medicines agreed to buy Pharmasset Inc. (VRUS) for about $11 billion in cash to add experimental treatments for the hepatitis C virus. Gilead will pay $137 a share in cash, 89 percent above the closing price for Pharmasset shares on Nov. 18. Pharmasset surged 85 percent to $134.14.
Inhibitex Inc. (INHX) , which is also developing a hepatitis C treatment, soared 19 percent to $10.61.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) fell 4 percent, the most since Nov. 9, to $26.86. The largest computer maker is likely to cut its forecast for fiscal 2012 when announcing fourth-quarter results today, according to Robert W. Baird & Co.
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) climbed 5 percent, the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, to $14.63. The maker of three-dimensional graphics processors will supply the next round of graphics processing units for Apple Inc.’s MacBooks, according to SemiAccurate, which didn’t cite a source.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) gained 10 percent, the most since April 27, to $55. The drugmaker said the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 18 approved Eylea, a treatment for a common cause of blindness in elderly that will rival Roche Holding AG’s Lucentis. The Tarrytown, New York-based company was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” at Bank of America Corp.
Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM) fell 4.6 percent to $17.36, the lowest price since May 2004. The smartphone maker had its profit estimates cut by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada and JMP Securities, citing increased competition, and said some customers couldn’t turn on their BlackBerry Bold devices.
Transocean Ltd. (RIG) fell 4.1 percent to $45.53. The operator of the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and caused the Americas’ biggest oil spill and Chevron Corp. (CVX) may be banned from operating deep-water fields in Brazil after an oil spill, Harold Lima, the head of Brazil’s oil regulator, told reporters in Sao Paulo today. Chevron slumped 2.3 percent to $95.66.
Zillow Inc. (Z US) sank 13 percent, the biggest decline in the Russell 2000 Index, to $23.52. The real estate website that had its initial public offering in July “is being pressured by sales from pre-IPO investors now that a lock-up period has ended,” Justin Patterson, an analyst at Morgan Keegan & Co., said in e-mail.
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