Updated with Frontier Financial news


Frontier Financial Retraces Gains As Vote Looms

EVERETT, Wash. (


) -- One day after surging on

heavy volume


Frontier Financial


shares retraced some of those gains Wednesday on fears the deal with

SP Acquisition Holdings


will not close.

Frontier shares were lately down 19 cents, or 12.3%, to $1.35. Share volume Wednesday topped 3.8 million, well above the 50-day average daily volume of 515,000 shares, according to the


Web site.

SP Acquisition, a New York-based asset-acquisition company sponsored in part by Steel Partners, said in July it would buy Frontier for about $24 million in stock and warrants.

In a

regulatory filing

Wednesday, SP Acquisition said that Frontier shareholders would receive an implied consideration of roughly 52 cents a share "resulting in an implied discount of approximately $1.02 per share of Frontier common stock."

SP Acquisition warrants, which had traded near 40 cents last week, had fallen to 13 cents Wednesday, an indication traders believe there is a low probability of a deal being completed.

The filing also said Frontier expects that its Tier 1 leverage capital ratio will drop below 4% as of Sept. 30, which would mean the bank would be considered "undercapitalized" by federal regulatory guidelines.

In March, Frontier said it signed a Cease and Desist Order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and State of Washington Department of Financial Institutions. Under the agreement, Frontier agreed to achieve and maintain a Tier 1 capital level of 10% of its total assets. The bank's Tier 1 capital ratio at year end 2008 was 8.53%.

Should that Tier 1 capital ratio drop below 3%, Frontier would be considered "significantly undercapitalized," which could result in further restrictions put in place or regulatory actions being taken, "including the potential closure of the bank," the filing said.

SP Acquisition shareholders will vote on the Frontier deal on Oct. 8. In Wednesday's filing, SP noted a condition to closing the Frontier deal is that less than 10% of SP's stockholders vote "no" and demand cash conversion of their shares.

YRC Worldwide Surges as Bankruptcy Fears Subside

YRC Worldwide

(YRCW) - Get Report

shares jumped Wednesday on heavy volume as it appears the threat of bankruptcy has subsided.

YRC Worldwide was lately up $1.14, or 26.2%, to $5.49, making it one of the biggest price gainers on the


on Wednesday. Volume topped 28.4 million shares at 3 p.m. EDT, more than double the 50-day average daily volume of 8.3 million, according to the Nasdaq's Web site.

If Wednesday's gains hold, YRC shares will have finished higher 13 out of 16 trading sessions in September, reflecting optimism the company will not be forced to file for bankruptcy protection. Earlier this month,

YRC Worldwide

amended a $950 million credit agreement with lenders as part of its efforts to stave off bankruptcy.

Short interest is very high on YRC Worldwide, as it appears traders had banked on the company filing for bankruptcy protection. YRC sported a short interest float of 29.3% as of Aug. 26, according to Yahoo! Finance. YRC has a 58 million-share float.

Investor posts on Internet message boards for YRC Worldwide noted the upside momentum, as the stock has surged more than 150% over the last month. Some other traders argued the company should begin considering a secondary offering of common stock.

Opexa Jumps on Milestone Payment

Opexa Therapeutics


shares were surging Wednesday on above-average volume after the company announced it had triggered a milestone payment.

The micro-cap drug stock jumped nearly 20% after announcing it has achieved its first technology transfer milestone in connection with its recently announced stem cell agreement with


(NVS) - Get Report

. The milestone achievement triggers a payment of $500,000 to Opexa, the company said.

Under the agreement with Novartis, Opexa received an upfront cash payment of $3 million and was entitled to an additional $1 million as a technology transfer fee to be paid over the course of a six month period. The $500,000 milestone is part of that $1 million technology transfer fee, Opexa said.

Opexa shares, which have been all over the map this month, were lately up 41 cents, or 11.9%, to $3.87. As of 3 p.m. EDT, more than 7.8 million changed hands, which more than twice the stock's 50-day average daily volume, according to the


Web site. Opexa has a 9.46 million-share float, according to Yahoo! Finance.

As my colleague Adam Feuerstein pointed out earlier this month,


has seen volume surge and price volatility on assorted news items.

The stock soared 270% on Sept. 9 to close at $5.66 after the company said "additional favorable data" from a previously completed phase II study of Tovaxin, a personalized immunotherapy, or "vaccine" for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Feuerstein wrote. During that Sept. 9 session, the stock touched an intraday high of $6.93, a staggering gain of 353%.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York