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GM, Humana, Huntington, Merck, Sallie Mae: U.S. Equity Movers

Shares of the following companies had unusual fluctuations in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 4 p.m. in New York.

Financial shares rallied as President Barack Obama prepared to ask Congress for as much as $750 billion in new aid to the industry, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS US) said it will put assets into a U.K. government insurance program and Switzerland’s UBS AG (UBS US) replaced its chief executive officer.

RBS surged 19 percent to $7.83. UBS gained 10 percent to $9.64. Barclays Plc (BCS US) advanced 2.7 percent to $6.09. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM US) rose 6.1 percent to $23.05. Bank of America Corp. (BAC US) climbed 3.1 percent to $5.32. Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB US) rose 18 percent to $2.29. Zions Bancorp (ZION US) climbed 13 percent to $10.91. SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI US) added 19 percent to $12.95. Huntington Bancshares Inc. (HBAN US) had the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s Index, rising 19 percent to $1.98.

Aflac Inc. (AFL US), which has invested in U.K. banks including RBS, surged 18 percent to $18.96.

Managed-care companies plunged after Obama proposed to expand U.S. health coverage, seeking the first tax increase on high-income earners in 16 years and overhauling payments to private insurers to help foot the bill.

Humana Inc. (HUM US) plunged 19 percent to $23.64. UnitedHealthGroup Inc. (UNH US) declined 13 percent to $20.07. WellPoint Inc. (WLP US) dropped 9.7 percent to $35.34. Coventry Health Care Inc. (CVH US) slid 14 percent to $11.88. Aetna Inc. (AET US) fell 11 percent to $24.03. OmniCare Inc. (OCR US) declined 14 percent to $23.65.

Pharmaceutical stocks fell after Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY US) said it would lose “several hundred million” dollars in annual sales if a health-care plan proposed today by Obama is approved.

Lilly fell 4.7 percent to $31.04. Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX US) declined 7.7 percent to $21.36. Merck & Co. (MRK US) lost 6.7 percent to $26.04. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI US) dropped 4.8 percent to $28.52. Abbott Laboratories (ABT US) slipped 5.7 percent to $50.58. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY US) fell 5.2 percent to $19.40.

Providers of student loans and education shares tumbled after Obama’s first budget called for an end to loan subsidies.

SLM Corp. (SLM US), the largest U.S. student lender, slumped the most in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, falling 31 percent to $5.80. Student Loan Corp. (STU US) dropped 22 percent to $41.51. Nelnet Inc. (NNI US) had the biggest decline in the Russell 2000 Index, falling 54 percent to $4.91

Career Education Corp. (CECO US) dropped 5.4 percent to $24.74. ITT Educational Services Inc. (ESI US) slipped 5.6 percent to $110.69. DeVry Inc. (DV US) fell 3.9 percent to $51.30. Corinthian Colleges Inc. (COCO US) declined 6.7 percent to $18.86.

ACI Worldwide Inc. (ACIW US) surged 11 percent, the most since Dec. 2, to $17.80. The maker of electronic-transaction software reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding some items of 37 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 27 cents a share.

American International Group Inc. (AIG US) surged 13 percent, the most since Dec. 2, to 52 cents. The insurer bailed out by the U.S. is in talks with authorities about a proposal to split the company into three U.S.-controlled businesses, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people.

American Tower Corp. (AMT US) rose 7.4 percent, the most since Nov. 26, to $28.80. The second-largest U.S. operator of cell-phone towers reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates on growing wireless demand.

Ansys Inc. (ANSS US) declined 11 percent, the most since October 2002, to $20.69. The Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based software developer said first-quarter earnings excluding some items will be 39 cents per share at most, missing the average 43-cent analyst estimate.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF US) fell 16 percent to $16.14, the lowest price since Nov. 20. North America’s largest iron-ore producer said it may extend curtailments at its North American coal mines if prices for the steelmaking ingredient don’t rise.

Cogent Inc. (COGT US) fell 8.3 percent to $10.11, the lowest close since Nov. 17. The maker of fingerprint-identification systems reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding some items of 14 cents a share, missing the average 15-cent analyst estimate.

CTC Media Inc. (CTCM US) rose 15 percent, the most since Jan. 21, to $3.21. The operator of Russia’s fourth-biggest television network by market share posted earnings excluding some items of 41 cents a share in the fourth quarter, beating the average analyst estimate by 21 percent.

Donaldson Co. (DCI US) fell 11 percent, the most since Nov. 14, to $25.21. The maker of Dura-Life and Ultra-Web air filters forecast 2009 earnings excluding some items of $1.90 a share at most, 10 percent less than the average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Dynegy Inc. (DYN US) rose 16 percent, the most since Jan. 2, to $1.51. The owner of power plants in 11 U.S. states said its fourth-quarter net loss narrowed to 1 cent a share after energy contracts rose in value.

Emcor Group Inc. (EME US) fell 11 percent to $15.65, the lowest close since Dec. 2. The builder of pharmaceutical laboratories and manager of airline terminals reported fourth-quarter sales of $1.68 billion, missing the average analyst estimate by 8.4 percent.

Flowserve Corp. (FLS US) rose 12 percent, the most since Nov. 24, to $51.49. The maker of pumps and valves boosted its dividend as fourth-quarter profit increased to $2.03 a share, beating the average analyst estimate by 7.5 percent.

Fluor Corp. (FLR US) rose 5.9 percent, the most since Jan. 2, to $34.90. The largest publicly traded U.S. engineering firm reported profit of $1.04 a share in the fourth quarter, beating the average analyst estimate by 14 percent.

General Motors Corp. (GM US) had the second-biggest decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, falling 6.7 percent to $2.38. The automaker bailed out by the U.S. reported a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of $9.65 per share, wider than the average analyst estimate for a loss of $7.46 a share.

Goodrich Petroleum Corp. (GDP US) declined 14 percent to $21.91, the lowest price since Oct. 15. The oil and natural gas explorer reported fourth-quarter revenue of $44.1 million, missing the average analyst estimate by 8.5 percent.

Granite Construction Inc. (GVA US) rose 11 percent, the most since Nov. 24, to $34.27. The Watsonville, California-based contractor reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding some items of 59 cents per share, beating the average 58-cent analyst estimate.

Greif Inc. (GEF US) gained 12 percent, the most since Dec. 11, to $31.65. The Delaware, Ohio-based maker of steel drums and other shipping containers forecast 2009 earnings of as much as $3.75 a share, 12 percent more than the $3.35 average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Integrys Energy Group Inc. (TEG US) fell 27, the most since at least July 1980, to $26.85. The Chicago-based utility in the upper midwestern U.S. forecast 2009 earnings excluding some items of $2.68 per share at most, missing the average $3.91 analyst estimate.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM US) rose 3.6 percent to $88.97. The biggest computer-services company reaffirmed its full-year profit forecast, saying it still sees 2009 earnings of at least $9.20 a share. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated $9.08 a share.

Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM US) fell 10 percent to $18.43, the lowest close since Nov. 20. The Boston-based information and records manager forecast 2009 revenue of $3.05 billion at most, missing the average $3.18 billion analyst estimate.

Kroger Co. (KR US) fell 5.7 percent to $20.68, the lowest price since June 2006. The biggest U.S. grocery chain was removed from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s “Conviction Buy” list after falling 17 percent this year through yesterday.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS US) surged 32 percent, the most since Oct. 31, to $2.85. Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage of the casino company controlled by Sheldon Adelson with an “outperform” rating.

Limited Brands Inc. (LTD US) fell 13 percent, the most since Dec. 1, to $7.74. The owner of the Victoria’s Secret chain said it expects to lose at least 7 cents a share in the first quarter. Analysts predicted the company would earn 2 cents, on average.

Macquarie Infrastructure Co. (MIC US) slumped 38 percent, the most since its December 2004 initial public offering, to $2.06. The provider of services such as airport parking suspended dividend as its fourth-quarter loss widened.

MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS US) rose 5.5 percent, the most since Jan. 21, to $13.36. The U.S. mobile-phone carrier that sells services without contracts reported fourth-quarter profit excluding some items of 9 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate by 13 percent.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ US) rose 4.3 percent to $21.86. The electronic exchange that handles the most shares in the U.S. reported fourth-quarter profit excluding some items of 53 cents a share, beating the average 51-cent analyst estimate.

NII Holdings Inc. (NIHD US) fell 20 percent, the most since Oct. 22, to $13.21. The provider of mobile-phone services in Latin America said 2009 revenue will be $4.3 billion at most, missing the average $4.45 billion analyst estimate.

Psychiatric Solutions Inc. (PSYS US) plunged 36 percent, the most since May 2002, to $17.50. The Franklin, Tennessee- based provider of behavioral-health programs to children and adults cut is full-year forecast, predicting earnings excluding some items of $2.32 a share at most, 3.3 percent less than the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Rowan Cos. (RDC US) rose 9.5 percent, the most since Nov. 26, to $12.22. The oil and natural-gas driller that builds its own equipment reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding some items of $1.28 per share, beating the average analyst estimate by 18 percent.

RSC Holdings Inc. (RRR US) fell 26 percent to $4.38, the lowest price since its initial public offering in May 2007. The equipment rental company forecast revenue of $355 million at most in the first quarter. That missed the average estimate of $407.5 million by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Safeway Inc. (SWY US) fell 13 percent, the most since April 2003, to $18.37. The U.S. grocery chain reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding some items of 79 cents a share, missing the average 81-cent analyst estimate.

Sanderson Farms Inc. (SAFM US) climbed 11 percent, the most since Dec. 4, to $31.49. The fourth-biggest U.S. chicken producer reported a first-quarter loss that was smaller than analysts expected.

Southern Union Co. (SUG US) gained 6.6 percent, the most since Dec. 10, to $13.19. The Houston-based owner of 15,000 miles (24,135 kilometers) of U.S. interstate gas pipelines said 2009 earnings excluding some items will be $1.75 per share at least, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.70.

Synovus Financial Corp. (SNV US) rallied 17 percent to $3.72, the highest price since Feb. 9. The Georgia-based lender was raised to “outperform” from “market perform” at Morgan Keegan & Co., which said the company’s strong capital will provide “a significant cushion toward future credit losses.”

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