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Stocks Rise Ahead of FOMC Decision Day

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks rose today as the two-day FOMC meeting got underway. A taper in the Fed's asset purchase program seems inevitable, but the size of the reduction remains in question. The most likely scenario is for the bank to scale back its bond-buying by $10 billion per month bringing it down to $75 billion. Meanwhile the central bank will keep interest rates close to zero.

Poll: Taper or next Fed Chair? Which topic interests you more?

Aeropostale (ARO) skyrocketed 18% on news that private equity firm Sycamore Partners has acquired almost 8% of the company stock. Sycamore specializes in consumer and retail investments. It labels the teen retailer an "attractive investment." It has also opened the door for talking to the board and other stockholders. Aeropostale shares recently tumbled on the release of its quarterly earnings and prior to today was down 32% year-to-date.

Redbox owner Outerwall (OUTR) fell 11%. The company, formerly known as Coinstar, tanked on a lowered outlook for its Redbox's movie-rental kiosks. Outerwall is citing weak rentals over the summer. Business was actually up about 14% year-over-year, but that's because of aggressive discounts. Prior to today's Outerwall had been up about 9% over the past year.

One of the day's biggest gainers was Repros Therapeutics (RPRX). Shares rose 12% on findings in a study involving Androxal which is a drug for reduced testicular function. Brean Capital believes Repros could get sold for as much as $40 a share even though the company has yet to turn a profit. Repros shares hit a multi-year high earlier in the month and were up 33% this year even prior to today's leap.

Shares of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH) soared 25% after the company disclosed positive results for two Phase III trials of a drug to treat double chins. It's called ATX-101. The formula is a synthetic bile acid which promises to destroy fat cells when injected into the target fat. It is also supposed to leave surrounding tissue largely unaffected. Kythera went public 11-months ago. Shares hit an all-time high last week.

Fragrance maker Coty (COTY) fell nearly 4% on its first earnings report since going public in June. Coty posted adjusted profits of 3-cents a share when expectations were for 1-cent. Revenue was also slightly above consensus. Coty is citing strength in brands including Marc Jacobs, Chloe and Playboy as well as newer entrant, Lady Gaga's Fame. It did however see declines in skin and body care products. Prior to today, Coty shares were down about 6% from their original offering price of $17.50.

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