Online retailers posted gains after reports of strong sales on Cyber Monday, when online retailers offered heavy discounts and promotions to attract holiday shoppers. Online sales for the Monday after Thanksgiving is expected to rise above $700 million, said comScore. Amazon ( AMZN) was up $4.71, or 5.5%, to $90.30. eBay ( EBAY) rose $1.23, or 3.8%, to $33.75. Overstock.com ( OSTK) jumped 14.7% to $25.40 after a Stifel Nicolaus analyst upgraded the stock to hold from sell. Shares of VMware ( VMW) surged $10.02, or 12.9%, to $87.69. EMC ( EMC), which has a 86% stake in VMware, was up 89 cents, or 4.9%, to $19.08. Biopharmaceutical company QLT ( QLTI) said its board of directors formed a special committee of independent directors to review strategic alternatives, including the sale of all or part of the assets of the company. The company said its board is reviewing proposals from several investment bankers and expects to appoint a financial advisor to the committee in the near future. QLT's shares added 99 cents, or 25.5%, to $4.88. Many of today's biggest winners were based outside the U.S., and several hailed from China. Leading the rally was Shanghai-based telecom media provider Linktone ( LTON). The company announced that Indonesian firm PT Media Nusantara Citra would buy 51% of Linktone's outstanding shares for $3.80 per American Depositary Share, which represents a premium of 54% over the Tuesday closing price. Shares rocketed 32% to $3.27.
Meanwhile, China Finance Online ( JRJC) closed its acquisition of Hong Kong securities firm Daily Growth Investment. China Finance bought an 85% equity interest in Daily Growth for about $3 million and has the right to buy the remaining shares within five years. Shares were up 24% to $21.10. Also Titan Pharmaceuticals ( TTP) said Wednesday that the FDA accepted the new-drug application (NDA) for iloperidone, an investigational treatment for schizophrenia. Titan said the NDA, submitted by Vanda Pharmaceuticals ( VNDA), includes data from 35 clinical trials and more than 3,000 patients treated with iloperidone. Titan rose 20 cents, or 12.5% to $1.80, and Vanda edged up 59 cents, or 7.4%, to $8.59.