Shares of the following companies may have unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 10:00 a.m. in New York.
Health insurers rose after Senate Democrats' proposed health-care legislation gave them a year before the start of a tax that industry lobbyists say will drive up premiums.
Aetna Inc. (AET) advanced 6.9 percent to $34.76 for the biggest increase in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Cigna Corp. (CI) gained 5.2 percent to $37.65. Coventry Health Care Inc. (CVH) added 4.4 percent to $25.65. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) rose 4.5 percent to $32.96.
Alcoa Inc. (AA) jumped 6.7 percent to $15.55 and advanced earlier to $15.60, the highest intraday price since October 2008. The largest U.S. aluminum producer was raised to "overweight" at Morgan Stanley, which introduced a $22 share- price estimate and said a rally in aluminum "should continue" in the first half of 2010.
Athersys Inc. (ATHX) almost tripled to $2.92 and increased earlier to $3.95, the highest intraday price since August 2008. Pfizer Inc. (PFE) agreed to buy rights to a stem-cell therapy for inflammatory bowel disease from Cleveland- based Athersys. The drug developer will get $6 million initially and as much as $105 million in future payments for the development of the MultiStem experimental medicine as a treatment for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Chattem Inc. (CHTT) surged 33 percent to $92.86 and jumped earlier to $93.10, the highest intraday price since January 1985. The maker of Gold Bond medicated body powder was acquired by Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY) for $1.9 billion to expand in consumer health-care in the U.S. Sanofi said it will pay $93.50 a share in cash.
City National Corp. (CYN) advanced 9.4 percent to $44.96 and rose earlier to $45.52, the highest intraday price since May 4. The Beverly Hills, California-based bank was raised to "market perform" from "underperform" at BMO Capital Markets by equity analyst Lana Chan.
CTC Media Inc. (CTCM) surged 18 percent to $14.79 after rising as much as 15 percent, the most intraday since Nov. 5. The U.S. listed Russian television network was raised to "hold" from "sell" at Infina Investment Company by equity analyst Inna Sedykh. The price estimate is $16.80 per share.
Denny's Corp. (DENN) fell 7 percent to $2.27 after declining as much as 7.4 percent, the most since Oct. 30. The largest full-service U.S. family restaurant chain said Chief Operating Officer Janis Emplit and Mark Chmiel, the chief marketing and innovation officer, resigned because sales "have been a challenge" and the "external operating environment remains difficult and the industry increasingly competitive."
E*Trade Financial Corp. (ETFC) dropped 4.8 percent to $1.69 after losing as much as 5.1 percent, the most intraday since Nov. 2. The company named Robert Druskin as chairman and interim chief executive officer after failing to find a permanent replacement on time for Donald Layton, who helped save the online brokerage from collapse.
Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGSI) rose 4.4 percent to $29.40 and advanced earlier to $29.64, the highest intraday price since January 2002. The Rockville, Maryland-based drugmaker was rated "overweight" in new coverage at Morgan Stanley, which set a share-price estimate of $40. "Benlysta is likely to be the first drug approved in lupus in 50 years, and we believe investors underestimate the drug's pricing power, penetration across various lupus patients, peak sales" and margins, the bank wrote in a report to clients.
Incyte Corp. (INCY) advanced 4.1 percent to $8.84 and rose earlier to $9, the highest intraday price since September 2008. Incyte sold worldwide rights to an experimental pill to treat inflammatory conditions to Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY). Incyte will receive an initial payment of $90 million for the medicine, INCB28050, and is eligible for as much as $665 million more.
Intel Corp. (INTC) added 3.4 percent to $20.29 after rising as much as 12 percent, the most intraday since Oct. 13. The world's biggest maker of semiconductors was raised to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Barclays Capital, citing "seemingly solid end market conditions, an upward bias to estimates and an intriguing valuation" in a report to clients. MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS) jumped 3.1 percent to $7.68 and rose earlier to $7.85, the highest intraday price since Oct. 13. The pay-as-you-go mobile-phone carrier was recommended by CNBC's Jim Cramer. The company is undervalued due to concern that its pricing plan is going to fall, Cramer said on his "Mad Money" program. Even if the plans fall to $35 a month, MetroPCS is still "going to generate decent margins," he said.
Mosaic Co. (MOS) rose 4.1 percent to $57.50 after gaining as much as 5 percent, the most intraday since Dec. 2. North America's second-largest fertilizer maker may rise more than 45 percent in the next two years as prices rebound and earnings increase, Barron's reported. The Plymouth, Minnesota- based company was upgraded to "buy" by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT) gained 3.8 percent to $109 after rising as much as 5.5 percent, the most intraday since Dec. 2. The largest fertilizer maker by capacity was added to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s "conviction buy" list. "Our view of a fundamental demand recovery in potash in 2010 remains unchanged," analysts wrote in a report to clients dated Dec. 20. "We believe a near-worst-case scenario on 2010 potash pricing is now discounted in stocks."
Seattle Genetics Inc. (SGEN) advanced 3.5 percent to $9.50 and rose earlier to $9.63, the highest intraday prince since Dec. 4. The developer of cancer drugs said it has entered into a collaboration agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) under which GSK will pay an upfront fee of $12 million for rights to utilize Seattle Genetics' drug technology.
Terex Corp. (TEX) gained 4.1 percent to $20 and added as much as 8.6 percent, the most intraday since July 20. The world's third-biggest maker of construction equipment agreed to sell its mining business to Bucyrus International Inc. (BUCY) for $1.3 billion in cash after a slump in demand drove losses this year. The purchase is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2010. Bucyrus added 8.2 percent to $55.