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Bank of America, First Solar, OCZ, Wet Seal: 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.

Banks advanced after Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the nation’s financial firms have strengthened and there is “absolutely” no chance of another collapsing like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC US) climbed 8.8 percent, the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to $6.28. Morgan Stanley (MS US) rose 4.8 percent to $15.18. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM US) gained 5 percent to $32.38.

Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI US) gained 7.9 percent to $38.18, the highest price since Sept. 29. The specialty-metals producer extended its titanium products supply agreement with Boeing Co. (BA US) through 2018. Boeing advanced 2.5 percent to $61.48.

Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ US) rose 9 percent to $20.40, the highest price since July 28. The world’s largest wine company said it expects to earn $2 to $2.10 a share for fiscal year 2012, more than its prior forecast of $1.90 to $2 and above the average analyst estimate of $1.96 a share in a Bloomberg survey.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL US) rallied 9.6 percent, the most since December 2009, to $30.90. The communications equipment maker is attracting potential takeover interest from several government contractors, according a report by Reuters, which cited people familiar with the situation.

Corning Inc. (GLW US) gained 7.1 percent, the most since Aug. 15, to $13.50. The maker of glass for flat-panel televisions increased its quarterly dividend to 7.5 cents per share from 5 cents per share.

Express Scripts Inc. (ESRX US) rallied 11 percent, the most in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, to $40.02. The drug benefits manager seeking to buy rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. (MHS US) cut its profit forecast less than investors expected. The St. Louis-based company said it now expects adjusted earnings of $2.95 to $3.05 a share for 2011, less than its prior forecast of $3.15 to $3.25. Medco gained 7.3 percent to $48.96.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR US) jumped 6.3 percent, the most since Aug. 23, to $64.73. The world’s largest thin-film solar panel maker surged on market speculation it’s a takeover target, according Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC, who said he doesn’t “ascribe much validity” to the rumor. Alan Bernheimer, a spokesman for the Tempe, Arizona-based company, said in an e-mail that the First Solar doesn’t comment on market speculation.

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE US) dropped 5.9 percent, the most since Sept. 2, to $26.51. The maker of Vidal Sassoon and Revlon hair-care products reported second quarter earnings of 74 cents per share, missing analysts’ average estimate of 87 cents per share.

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (IVN US) advanced 13 percent to $16.91, the highest price since Sept. 27. The mining company, Rio Tinto Group and Mongolia will stick with their agreement on the $10 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper project, halting a proposal by the government to increase its holding to 50 percent from 34 percent.

Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT US) rose 5.9 percent to $1.61, the highest price since Sept. 27. The broadband service provider could offer $7.30 a share for Paetec Holding Corp. (PAET US) and an acquisition could create $250 million in annual synergies, FBR Capital Markets said in a note to clients.

Molycorp Inc. (MCP US) had the biggest gain in the Russell 1000 Index, jumping 13 percent to $36.45. The owner of the largest rare-earth deposit outside China may be picked in the event the U.S. Defense Department opts for an off-take agreement, after the Pentagon urged an alternative to getting supplies from the Asian country, Dahlman Rose & Co. said in a note to clients.

Monsanto Co. (MON US) rose 7.6 percent, the most since January 2009, to $71.29. The world’s largest seed company was boosted to “overweight” from “neutral” by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which said the company has “a high probability of reporting sharply improved earnings” next year.

NeoPhotonics Corp. (NPTN US) dropped 12 percent, the second-most in the Russell 2000 Index, to $5.88. The maker of light wave circuits cut its third-quarter revenue estimate to no more than $45 million from an earlier projection of at least $48 million.

OCZ Technology Group Inc. (OCZ US) surged 14 percent to $5.68, the highest price since Aug. 17. The manufacturer of enterprise and consumer solid state drives raised its annual revenue estimate and posted second-quarter sales that were higher than analysts projected.

Target Corp. (TGT US) rose 4.3 percent, the most since Aug. 9, to $51.91. The second-largest U.S. discounter reported September sales that surpassed analysts’ projections as promotions and cooler weather drove purchases.

Wet Seal Inc. (WTSLA US) sank 13 percent, the most in the Russell 2000, to $4.05. The apparel chain for teenage girls said September comparable sales fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier, compared with the average estimate from analysts surveyed by Retail Metrics Inc. of an increase of 4.6 percent.

Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ US) jumped 12 percent to $21.06, the highest price since Aug. 5. The Everett, Washington-based retailer raised its third-quarter earnings and sales projection after saying September sales rose more than estimated.

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