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BlackBerry Bounces; Astex Pharma up 23%; Smith & Wesson Reporting

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BlackBerry (BBRY) is up 3% in early trading. The stock surged nearly 5% at the end of the trading session yesterday. The jump came on a report in the Wall Street Journal which said BlackBerry wants to auction itself off by November. The company said last month that it was quote "exploring strategic alternatives"-- a statement that implied a longer time span for a possible sale. BlackBerry is down about 8% year-to-date. But it's actually up, way up, by 65% over the past year after huge falls.

Smith & Wesson (SWHC) reports quarterly results after the closing bell. The gun maker is expected to post earnings of 36-cents a share up from 28-cents a year ago. Revenue is expected to rise 30% to more than $165-million. The company has seen sales soar on fears of stronger gun control laws. The question at this point is how much longer demand can hold at this pace. The stock is up roughly 30% so far this year.

Building products company Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) has been up 5% in early trading. LP has announced it will acquire Canada's Ainsworth Lumber for more than $1-billion. Ainsworth is controlled by Brookfield Asset Management which has approved the deal. The acquisition is expected to give Louisiana Pacific more access to business in Asia. Prior to announcement of the deal LP's shares were down 23% year-to-date.

Astex Pharmaceuticals (ASTX) is currently up 3%. Astex jumped 23% yesterday, mostly in the 1pm hour, on news that it's being acquired by Japan's Otsuka for nearly $900-million. Shares are now up 184% year-to-date. Astex has only one approved drug, which treats a blood disorder. But it currently has several other cancer treatments in the pipeline.

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