The stock market is trending lower this morning. The Dow is off about 40 points, the Nasdaq is down 10 points and the S&P 500 is in the red by 8 points.
The day before the fourth of July has proven to be a busy one. Jobs data was released earlier today and showed employers added 188,000 jobs last month. The number beat expectations by a wide margin. Jobless claims also came in better than expected at 343,000. Analysts were expecting 350,000.
It wasn’t all good news today though as U.S. service sector growth slowed to a three year low in June. According to the Institute for Supply Management, its services index fell to 52.2 last month. Economists were wanting to see a reading of 54.
Political concerns in Portugal and slowing growth in China also outweighed positive jobs data. China’s official service sector PMI fell to its weakest level in nine months in June.
Investors are also watching Egypt very closely. Continued unrest there has sent oil prices above $100 a barrel.
Not all stocks are heading lower today. Let’s take a look at six stocks posting good gains in early trading.
UniTek Global Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTK) is up 50% today at $1.95 this morning. UniTek shares are heading higher today after the company received commitment letter for $75 million asset-based revolving credit.
The letter was received from Apollo Investment Corp and contemplates the two parties will enter into “definitive documentation for the ABL (asset-based revolving credit) no later than July 10, 2013.”
This credit facility will allow the company to increase its borrowing availability. “When finalized, this ABL Facility will provide us with additional liquidity as we continue working on the refinancing of our outstanding debt,” said CEO Rocky Romanella.
UniTek will pay Apollo a commitment fee equal to 4% of the total amount of the proposed credit facility. The payment will be in two equal installments, one when the commitment letter is received and another at the initial funding of the ABL.
Orient Paper, Inc. (NYSE:ONP) is up more than 43% this morning at $2.10. Orient Paper is in fully rally mode today after the SEC ended their investigation and took no enforcement action.
The SEC had begun an informal inquiry in December 2010.
“We are very pleased that the SEC has completed its investigation of the Company and recommended that no action be taken by the Commission,” said CEO Zhenyong Liu.
Mr. Liu added, “We are very happy to put this matter behind us as we continue to expand our business in the North China region to ride on the growth opportunities presented by the rising urbanization in the country.”
Emulex Corporation (NYSE:ELX) is up 15% today at $7.67. Emulex is rallying today after the company said it is reconsidering a sale to recoup some of investors’ losses. According to reports, Emulex has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to seek potential buyers.
Emulex shares have dropped more than 25% after it shunned a takeover offer four years ago.
Prana Biotechnology Limited (NASDAQ:PRAN) is up 17% this morning at $2.84. Prana Biotech is rallying today after receiving approval for 12 month open-label extension study in Alzheimer’s disease.
The company received approval from the Austin Health Human Research Ethics Committee and follows a full review by the committee of the potential benefit to patients and safety data collected in the current IMAGINE trial. The IMAGINE trial is a 12 month double-blind phase II clinical trial of PBT2 in Alzheimer’s patients. The patients who have finished the full 12 month term of the IMAGINE trial are eligible to participate in the open-label extended study.
“We are keenly looking forward to the completion of the current IMAGINE trial to see the effects of PBT2 over 12 months, and we expect to report the results in March 2014”, said CEO Geoffrey Kempler.
MER Telemanagement Solutions Ltd. (NASDAQ:MTSL) is up 8% today at $1.91. MER Telemanagement announced today it has entered into an agreement with DataXoom to provide its cloud and managed MVNE solution. MVNE stands for mobile virtual network enabler services.
“We’re very excited to have DataXoom select MTS. The MVNO market is very competitive and whether you are a startup MVNO or an established player, it’s important to have the infrastructure and back office capabilities that support quick subscriber growth, expansion into opportunistic markets and the ability to quickly add new MNOs or services as your business dictates,” said CEO Eytan Bar.
Gastar Exploration, Ltd (NYSE:GST) has rallied 7% this morning at $2.96. Gastar Exploration is up today after the company announced plans to offload its interests in about 76,000 acres in Oklahoma for $62 million in cash.
Under the deal, Gastar and the third party will also trade certain acreage between each other in order to create more concentrated acreage blocks for each party. Gastar said this sale allows them to monetize its non-core acreage in Oklahoma for an good price.