Mid-day Movers (VRML, HNR, EBTX, ONTY, ZLTQ)

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Shortly after noon ET today, all three major US stock indexes continue to slide, with the DJIA down about 168 points at around12,794, the Nasdaq down about 42 points at 2,909, and the S&P 500 down 19 points to around 1,345. Eurozone markets are down about -3% just before closing today, and the UK’s FTSE 100 index is down nearly -2%. The dollar opened stronger today, and has continue to gain strength with the dollar index up 0.63% at 79.799. The stronger dollar weighed on crude prices, with both Brent and WTI down around -1.5%..

Among the major movers at around noon today are Vermillion Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML), Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: HNR), Encore Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: EBTX), Oncothyreon Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTY), and Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc. (NASDAQ: ZLTQ).

Vermillion is up about 71% at $2.27. Volume is already more than 30x the daily average of about 117,000 shares traded. The medical device maker received a code-change approval from the American Medical Association that incorporates one of the company’s devices.

Encore Bancshares is up more than 35% at $20.20 after posting a new 52-week high of $20.61 earlier this morning. Volume is more than 30x the daily average of just 14,000 shares traded. The bank holding company has been acquired by privately held Cadence Bancorp for about $250 million ($20.62/share).

Harvest Natural Resources is up more than 28% at $8.02. Volume is already almost 6x the daily average of about 490,000 shares traded. The independent oil & gas company has reported production growth at its Venezuelan fields and that it has begun discussions for a sale of its Venezuelan assets.

Oncothyreon is down -39% at $5.13. Volume is already nearly 10x the daily average of around 1 million shares traded. The biopharma company reported a significant fourth-quarter EPS miss this morning, along with available cash that will keep the company in operation for about another 12 months.

Zeltiq is down more than -28% at $7.96 after posting a new 52-week low of $7.51 earlier. Volume is already about 8x the daily average of around 185,000 shares traded. The medical technology company posted a dismal fourth-quarter earnings report this morning.

Paul Ausick