Taser Shares Surge

Sears shares move lower; Novell gains after Microsoft settlement; plus more of Monday's stocks in the news

Taser International (TASR ) rose on news that the Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved a major international airline's application for onboard use of TASER-brand conducted-energy weapons.

Sears,Roebuck (S ) declines after S&P downgrades to sell from hold. Friday, shares moved sharply higher after Vornado Realty (VNO) said in its 10Q filing that it acquired a 4.3% take in Sears in the third quarter.

Novell (NOVL ) inked a deal with Microsoft (MSFT ) to settle potential antitrust litigation related to Novell's Netware operating system. The terms include a $536 million payment from Microsoft. Novell is to file an antitrust suit against Microsoft alleging harm to its WordPerfect business.

U.S. Steel (X ) is now in its best shape in decades, thanks to the surge in steel prices, and the company's more competitive edge, according to a Barron's report. Some bulls think the company could earn $10 or more a share in 2005.

Pixar (PIXR ) is down after Deutsche Bank downgrades the company's share to sell. The company's "The Incredibles" posts $70.7 million in its opening weekend. Banc of America keeps a neutral rating and sets a $76 tgt.

Morgan Stanley (MWD ) is one of several brokerage firms the SEC is looking at that is suspected of failing to get customers best stock prices, reports the New York Times. Other firms unders scrutiny include Merrill Lynch (MWD ), AmeriTrade , Charles Schwab (SCH ), and E*Trade (ET ).

Liberty Media (L ) and News Corp. (NWS ) reportedly set a shareholder rights plan, which it says would better protect shareholders after Liberty Media raised its stake in News Corp.

Elan (ELN ) announced that one-year data from Phase III Antegren Affirm trial met primary endpoint of clinical relapse rate reduction. The company developed Antegren with Biogen (BIIB ).

Krispy Kreme (KKD ) has its estimate cut by CIBC World. The company's target is cut from $10 to $8. CIBC maintains its sector underperform rating.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT ) received FDA approval to market a new formulation of TriCor Tablets for treatment of lipid disorders such as conditions related to abnormal levels of fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides, in bloodstream.

Biogen (BIIB ) announcec that one-year data from Phase III Antegren Affirm trial met primary endpoint of clinical relapse rate reduction. Medarex (MEDX ) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY ) will develop and commercialize MDX-010, a fully human antibody investigational product targeting the CTLA-4 receptor. MDX-010 currently in Phase III clinical development for treatment of metastatic melanoma.

Conseco (CNO ) posted 36 cents third-quarter earnings per share. The company sees no reason why the consensus estimate for 2005 of $1.71 will not fall within its guidance range.

Mediacom Communications (MCCC ) Down 0.47 to 6.18 Posted an 11-cent third-quarter loss, vs. a 2 cents earnings per share, despite a 3.9% revenue rise. The company cites competitive pressures from satellite video providers and disruptions from Hurricane Ivan. JP Morgan downgrades. S&P rates hold.

Polaris Industries (PII ) drops after Banc of America downgrades the company shares to sell from neutral.

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