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Sunesis, Taser: Midday Volume Plays

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Several stocks trading near $5 were moving on above-average volume during Wednesday's session.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS) rallied by 49 cents, or 45.4%, to $1.57 in the absence of any company-specific news. Traders on Internet message boards noted a commentary from BioMed Reports, a commentary Web site specializing in penny stocks, that said any pullback in shares represents a buying opportunity. The writers, which said they did not hold positions in Sunesis, said that a partnership is "always a possibility" and that the dollar price "will prove to be a nice (re)entry point." Other traders argued that the movement in shares Wednesday was typical of "pumping and dumping" action. Volume topped 16.63 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 5.58 million, according to the Nasdaq.

Taser International (TASR) jumped by 81 cents, or 17.2%, to $5.51 after the company offered strong revenue guidance for the fourth quarter thanks to three large orders at the end of 2009 from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and the Philadelphia and Chicago Police Departments. Taser said fourth-quarter revenue should be approximately $32 million, above the Thomson Reuters consensus of $28.7 million. Volume topped 4.51 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 491,000.

Cleveland BioLabs (CBLI) gained 20 cents, or 5.6%, to $3.75 after the company said it received the first U.S. patent for its radiation protection drug CBLB502. Last week, Cleveland Biolabs said it entered into a 50/50 joint venture, Incuron, with Bioprocess Capital Ventures, a Russian Federation venture capital fund, to develop its Curaxin compounds for cancer applications, sending shares higher. Volume topped 175,000 shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 61,000.

China Direct Industries (CDII) surged by 52 cents, or 32.5%, to $2.12. The stock continued to fluctuate after Monday's news that China Direct reintroduced an annual forecast due to improved visibility, which helped shares rally higher by more than 30% before retracing those gains Tuesday. Volume topped 4.84 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 332,000.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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