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Cliffs, JPMorgan, Motorola Mobility, Rowan: U.S. Equity Movers

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.

The companies most tied to economic growth, including commodity producers and industrial manufacturers, led gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as the price of oil climbed the most in three weeks. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF US) gained 5.8 percent to $88.60. Rowan Cos. (RDC US) advanced 4.8 percent to $41.51. National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV US) increased 5.2 percent to $78.28. Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB US) added 4.8 percent to $87.05. Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (DO US) gained 4.8 percent to $74.39.

Financial stocks gained after a person briefed on the matter said the Federal Reserve will tell some of the biggest U.S. banks tomorrow whether it has approved their plans to pay dividends and buy back shares. Citigroup Inc. (C US) rose 1.4 percent to $4.45. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS US) increased 0.9 percent to $155.75. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM US) advanced 1.7 percent to $44.56. Morgan Stanley (MS US) advanced 1.3 percent to $27.45. Bank of America Corp. (BAC US) climbed 2.1 percent to $13.98.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM US) gained 4.3 percent, the most since Nov. 24, to $36.47. The operator of a server network that helps websites load faster was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. The 12-month price estimate is $44.00.

Cree Inc. (CREE US) rose 5 percent, the most since Nov. 24, to $49.35. The maker of energy-efficient lighting products was raised to “buy” by Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. analyst William Ong, who said channel inventory is declining.

FedEx Corp. (FDX US) gained 3.1 percent, the most since Feb. 10, to $87.89. The second-largest U.S. package-shipping company forecast fourth-quarter earnings of as much as $1.83 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.66, Bloomberg data show.

General Maritime Corp. (GMR US) fell the most in the Russell 2000 Index, dropping 28 percent to $1.81. The crude-oil shipping company said it will delay filing financial results as it’s seeking additional liquidity. The company said its filing may include a disclosure of concern over its ability to stay in business.

Guess? Inc. (GES US) fell 14 percent, the most since December 2008, to $37.71. The apparel retailer forecast first-quarter earnings to be no more than 44 cents a share, below the 62-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Harris Corp. (HRS US) advanced 3.9 percent, the most since July 22, to $45.25. The provider of information technology services to the government forecast adjusted earnings in 2011 to be between $4.80 and $4.90 a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of $4.89.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ US) advanced 3.2 percent, the most since Aug. 2, to $41.43. The world’s largest computer maker was rated “outperform” in new coverage at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Maxygen Inc. (MAXY US) climbed 24 percent, the most since July 2008, to $5.09. Astellas Pharma Inc. (4503 JP), a Japanese drugmaker, will pay $76 million to buy out partner Maxygen and make Perseid Therapeutics LLC a wholly owned subsidiary.

Medco Health Solutions Inc. (MHS US) dropped 2.8 percent to $54.68, the lowest price since Nov. 1. A probe of the pharmacy benefits manager by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System dealt with procedural issues and the company is cooperating with authorities, Chief Executive Officer David Snow said at a Barclays Capital health-care conference.

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI US) rallied 5.6 percent to $25.02, the third-biggest gain in the S&P 500. The mobile-phone maker was raised to “neutral” from “reduce” by Nomura Holdings Inc. analyst Stuart Jeffrey.

Natural Resource Partners LP (NRP US) fell 6.6 percent, the most since May 6, to $35. The owner and manager of coal properties announced a secondary offering of 6 million units.

Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM US) rose 3.6 percent, the most since Jan. 27, to $52.32. The world’s largest producer of mobile-phone chips said it expects last week’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami to have a limited effect on its supplies. Investors should buy shares of the San Diego-based company on weakness, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a note.

Quicksilver Resources Inc. (KWK US) fell 3.6 percent to $14.07, the lowest price since Oct. 15. The U.S. oil and natural gas producer, whose largest shareholder is the family of Chief Executive Officer Glenn Darden, won’t be taken private after a six-month search for backers, Darden said.

Sanmina-SCI Corp. (SANM US) plunged 21 percent, the most since December 2008, to $10.65. The contract electronics manufacturer said President and Chief Financial Officer Hari Pillai is resigning and that profit excluding some items this quarter may be as low as 28 cents a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 41 cents.

United Community Bank Inc. (UCBI US) rose the most in the Russell 2000 Index, surging 29 percent to $1.98. The regional bank, which has branches in Georgia and North Carolina, announced plans to raise $380 million in capital and said it will accelerate a sale of $435 million of problem assets. Corsair Capital LLC and its partners will own 23 percent of the company after the transaction.

Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc. (VSEA US) gained 6.3 percent, the most since Oct. 29, to $44.24. Barclays Plc analyst C.J. Muse wrote in a note that recent weakness in the price caused by cyclical concerns and uncertainty from Japan’s earthquake is a buying opportunity.

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