Morning Movers (CHTP, KCP, KND, RBCN, DECK)

The three major US equities indexes opened higher this morning but quickly lost steam ahead of the consumer sentiment and monthly new home sales reports. Action in Europe and Asia had boosted the futures market this morning, but the signals were not strong enough to encourage buying. In the first half hour of trading, the DJIA is up about 16 points at around 13,001, the Nasdaq Composite is up more than 7 points at around 2,964, and the S&P 500 is up more than 3 points at around 1,367.

There are several stocks trading more heavily than usual this morning, and also experiencing large gains or drops in share prices. These include the Chelsea Therapeutics International Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTP), Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. (NYSE: KCP), Kindred Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: KND), Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN), and Deckers Outdoor Corp. (NASDAQ: DECK).

Chelsea Therapeutics is up more than 56% at $3.76. Volume is already nearly 9x the daily average of about 1.2 million shares traded. The drug maker yesterday received an FDA panel approval for a drug to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Kenneth Cole Productions is up about 21% at $15.82 after posting a new 52-week high of $16.00 earlier. Volume is already about 20x the daily average of 24,000 shares traded. The apparel maker is being taken private at $15/share. More coverage here.

Kindred Healthcare is down more than -17% at $10.29. Volume is already higher than the daily average of around 705,000 shares traded. The healthcare services company posted a loss last night and announced that it would not renew 7 of 10 master leases with Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR).

Rubicon is down nearly -17% at $10.12. Volume is already nearly double the daily average of around 440,000 shares traded. The LED maker missed estimates and offered weak guidance for the current quarter.

Deckers is down nearly -12% at $79.54. Volume is already about 2.5x the daily average of around 1.7 million shares traded. The outdoor apparel and equipment maker reported earnings last night, and warned of price increases for the coming year.

Paul Ausick