Morning Movers (VVUS, ONVI, CTHR, PPO, GNK)

The three major US equities indexes opened about flat this morning as US jobless claims came in near expectations at 351,000 new claims (our coverage here). The European Commission’s forecast of a mild recession in the European Union is weighing on stocks and the dollar is losing ground to the euro and the British pound. In the first half hour of trading, the DJIA is down about 39 points at around 12,900, the Nasdaq Composite is lower by nearly 2 points at around 2,931, and the S&P 500 is down more than 3 points at around 1,354.

There are several stocks trading more heavily than usual this morning, and also experiencing large gains or drops in share prices. These include the Vivus Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS), Onvia Inc. (NASDAQ: ONVI), Charles & Colvard Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTHR), Polypore International Inc. (NYSE: PPO), and Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. (NYSE: GNK).

Vivus is up more than 96% at $20.63 after posting a new 52-week high of $21.44 earlier. Volume is already about 10x the daily average of about 2.4 million shares traded. The drug maker yesterday received an FDA panel approval for its obesity drug. More coverage here.

Onvia is up about 34% at $4.21. Volume is already about 20x the daily average of 6,500 shares traded. The government contractor service has rejected a buyout bid at $4.25/share, boosting hopes of a bidding war for the company.

Charles & Colvard is up more than 26% at $3.85 after posting a new 52-week high of $3.99 earlier. Volume is already about 3x the daily average of around 27,000 traded. The jewelry maker smashed earnings expectations for its fourth quarter.

Polypore is down nearly -14% at $37.46. Volume is already about 1.5x the daily average of around 1.9 million shares traded. The specialty filter maker missed earnings expectations and forecast a weaker current quarter.

Genco is down nearly -12% at $7.24. Volume is already more than 9x the daily average of about 700,000 shares traded. The dry bulk shipper priced a secondary offering of 7.5 million shares at $7.10/share.

Paul Ausick

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