On The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks opened sharply higher as the market bounced from last week's major selloff. The market is coming off its worst two-week performance in more than two years and has been subjected to enormous volatility. The averages saw their highs shortly after the open, then cut their gains in half, suggesting the market's volatility is continuing. However, they've battled back and are once again near their best levels of the session, with the Dow and Nasdaq each up roughly 1.5%. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., no market moving economic data was reported. The monthly budget statement for January is expected to be released this afternoon. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of CSRA (CSRA) have jumped over 31% after the company announced an agreement to be acquired by General Dynamics (GD) for $40.75 per share in cash. The news also sent several other government service stocks higher, including Leidos (LDOS), CACI (CACI), SAIC (SAIC) and Booz Allen (BAH). Harris (HRS), however, has underperformed following the news, as Citi analyst Jonathan Raviv pointed out there may have been some takeout speculation baked into its shares. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Collegium Pharmaceutical (COLL), which gained 12% after Purdue Pharma announced that it will no longer promote its opioid products, including OxyContin, to doctors. Also higher was TimkenSteel (TMST), which rose 14% after KeyBanc analyst Philip Gibbs upgraded the stock to Overweight with a $17 price target. Among the noteworthy losers was Lumber Liquidators (LL), which dropped 9% after Wedbush analyst Seth Basham downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform. Also lower was Ulta Beauty (ULTA), which slid 5% following a report that the company is being sued and accused by a shopper of repackaging returned, used products and putting them back on shelves. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 357.75, or 1.48%, to 24,548.65, the Nasdaq was up 98.71, or 1.44%, to 6,973.20, and the S&P 500 was up 31.92, or 1.22%, to 2,651.47.