Stocks on the Move: AmEx, AMD, Continental, Sprint

Shares of the following companies are having unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 11:15 a.m. in New York.

Credit card companies American Express Co., Capital One Financial Corp. and Discover Financial Services were raised to "neutral" from "underperform" at Bank of America Corp., which said they will benefit from the accelerating economic recovery.

American Express (AXP), the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by purchases, rose 1.6 percent to $39.91, Capital One Financial (COF) added 0.9 percent to $38.25 and Discover Financial Services (DFS) increased 3.4 percent to $15.70.

Managed-care providers rose after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the companies are cheap and the threat posed to their earnings by health-care reform has been overestimated.

Aetna Inc. (AET) rallied 4 percent to $30.15. Cigna Corp. (CI) climbed 4.5 percent to $33.60. Humana Inc. (HUM) added 1.9 percent to $41.07.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) jumped 7.8 percent to $8.48 and advanced earlier to $8.61, the highest intraday price since December 2007. The world's second-largest maker of personal computers was raised to "outperform" from "underperform" at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. by analyst Stacy Rasgon.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) increased 1.8 percent to $25.44 after rising earlier to $26.27, the highest intraday price since July 2008. The largest supplier of software and services to make Web sites load faster increased its fourth quarter forecasts for revenue and earnings, projecting more sales and profit than analysts estimate.

Allos Therapeutics Inc. (ALTH) slumped 13 percent to $5.78 and tumbled 17 percent earlier, the most intraday since December 2008. The cancer drug developer was downgraded to "market perform" from "outperform" by Wells Fargo & Co., which said Celgene Corp.'s (CELG) purchase of Gloucester Pharmaceuticals Inc. will hurt Allos's Folotyn.

AsiaInfo Holdings Inc. (ASIA) climbed 22 percent to $30.70 and increased earlier to $31.60, the highest intraday price since September 2000. The Chinese supplier of software for phone companies and Linkage Technologies International Holdings Ltd. agreed to merge, creating a combined company with a market value of more than $1.8 billion.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) slid 3.1 percent to $41.37 and dropped earlier to $40.91, the lowest intraday price since Nov. 5. The largest gold miner was cut to "neutral" from "outperform" by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG. A ruling by the U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco that additional environmental analysis is required at the company's Cortez Hills project in Nevada creates uncertainty that will weigh on the shares, Credit Suisse analysts said.

Blyth Inc. (BTH) fell 14 percent to $30.01 and declined as much as 18 percent, the most intraday since December 2008. The maker of candles and home decorations cut its 2010 forecast, saying it expects profit excluding some items to be $2.60 a share at most. The company previously anticipated at least $3.

Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) fell the most in the Russell 1000 Index, dropping 6.4 percent to $15.67. The fourth- largest U.S. airline said it will sell $200 million of convertible senior notes, raising money for "general corporate purposes." Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) added 2.1 percent to $28.06 and climbed 2.7 percent earlier, the most intraday since Nov. 12. The largest U.S. chemicals maker may rise to $40 or more in the next two years as its Rohm & Haas Co. purchase and its expansion in emerging markets boost earnings, Barron's reported.

McDermott International Inc. (MDR) surged 11 percent to $22.90 after rising as much as 12 percent, the most intraday since March 4. The offshore oil and gas contractor said it will spin off its nuclear-equipment unit to keep the business eligible for U.S. government contracts.

New York Community Bancorp Inc. (NYB) gained 9.4 percent to $13.49 and rallied earlier to $13.66, the highest intraday price since Feb. 2. New York's biggest savings and loan was raised to "outperform" from "market perform" at FBR Capital Markets, which said the lender's success in bidding for the deposits from AmTrust Bank, of Cleveland, Ohio will boost earnings and secure its dividend.

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) rallied the most in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, rising 13 percent to $16.12. Intel Corp. (INTC), the world's biggest maker of semiconductors, said it's behind in developing its line of Larrabee graphics chips. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) gained 7.4 percent to $8.44. Nvidia and AMD are the biggest producers of graphics cards.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) added 5 percent to $3.88 and climbed 5.4 percent earlier, the most intraday since Nov. 18. The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier may rise as much as 50 percent on its purchase of Virgin Mobile USA Inc. and as the number of its prepaid subscriptions increases, Barron's reported, without citing anyone.

SunPower Corp (SPWRA) advanced 7.4 percent to $23.96 after jumping as much as 8.7 percent, the most intraday since July 24. The second-biggest U.S. supplier of solar modules was raised to "overweight" from "equal-weight" at Barclays Capital by equity analyst Vishal Shah.

The brokerage also increased ratings for JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP). JA Solar added 6.8 percent to $4.70 while Suntech rose 7.1 percent to $16.48.

Synovus Financial Corp. (SNV) gained 13 percent to $2.43 and advanced earlier to $2.48, the highest intraday price since Oct. 26. Shares of the owner of banks in the southeastern U.S. have "tremendous upside," Thomas Brown, founder of Second Curve Capital, said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio.

Terra Industries Inc. (TRA) jumped 6.6 percent to $41.63 and rallied earlier to $42.70, the highest intraday price since September 2008. CF Industries Holdings Inc. (CF) increased its offer to acquire rival Terra Industries Inc. to about $4.58 billion as it seeks to increase output of nitrogen fertilizer.

Zale Corp. (ZLC) dropped 21 percent to $3.92 for the biggest slump in the Russell 2000 Index. The biggest U.S. jewelry chain whose same-store sales slumped 19 percent in November could be in violation of debt covenants this quarter should sales fail to improve, Soleil Securities said in a note. The firm cut the stock to "sell" from "hold."

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