What’s Moving These Shares on the Final Trading Day of January

With the Dow Jones (NYSE:DIA) hovering under 12,000, the S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) within distance of 1300 and the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQQ) slightly up on the 20th trading day of 2011, here is a group of stocks making moves on our radar and the reasons why:

1) NPS Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:NPSP): Shares are up 29% to $9.84 per share after the company had a very successful phase 3 trial for a drug called Gattex that treats short bowel syndrome. The stock hit a 52-week high of $10.14 today.

2) Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM): The Dow Jones heavyweight is pushing the market higher on news of the best quarterly report since 2008. The company’s 53% profit increase beat Wall Street expectations. The stock is up 1.86% to $80.46, hitting a 52-week high earlier in the day.

3) International Paper (NYSE:IP): Shares are up 1.65% to $28.91 per share ahead of Thursday’s big earnings report. Analysts are estimating $.66 per share and $6.35 billion in revenue for the quarter. M&A in the space is heating up following last week’s merger between Rock-Tenn and Smurfit-Stone Container.

4) Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC): Shares are up 2.36% to $75.90 per share as more M&A deal talk heats up and Anadarko is on many trading radars. Following Exxon Mobile’s strong report today, energy companies are getting a lift higher. Also, the geo-political risk of Egypt is yielding higher oil prices.

5) Massey Energy (NYSE:MEE): On Friday we saw very unusual buying activity in Massey Energy shares and takeover talk during the weekend. Consequently, Alpha Natural Resources announced a $7.1 billion acquisition of Massey today. Shares of MEE are up 9.66% to $62.80 per share.

6) Gannett (NYSE:GCI): The newspaper business continues to feel the heat from the rise of digital media and tablets. Shares of Gannett are down 3.55% to $14.65 per share today after announcing their quarterly reports. Fourth quarter ad revenue dropped as the company saw a drop of 4% in publishing revenue. Investors were disappointed with the latest report.

7) Check Point Software Techonologies (NASDAQ:CHKP): Shares are down 3.72% to $44.50 per share following the company’s latest quarterly report. Surprisingly, the company posted a record 4th quarter profit, beating analyst estimates. Revenue jumped 17% year over year. Investors appear to be taking profits on the stock in anticipation of a slow down of future results.

8) DepoMed (NASDAQ:DEPO): Shares are up a whopping 32% today to $8.25 per share after the FDA approved its drug call Gralise, a pain reliever for viral infection shingles. The drug is licensed to Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) and the announcement yielded a $48 million payment from Abbott to DepoMed today.

9) Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OREX): The stock is up 12.62% to $9.35 per share today. The FDA plans to issue a decision for its diet drug Contrave today. Traders are on the edge of their seat awaiting the volatility in the stock.

10) Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU): Shares are up 4.82% to $77.44 per share after the company beat expectations for its latest quarterly report. Revenue jumped 28% and and a $1.07 earnings per share. Investors continue to see a bright future for the dot com company. Its competitor, Bidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) reports its earnings later today.

Great read: The Rumor Mill: Mergers and Acquisitions in Question, January 31>>

Get Your Market Outlook 2011 – by Jordan Roy-Byrne, CMT >>

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