Chinese search engine provider Baidu.com ( BIDU) was up 5%, extending its gains from last week. Shares of Baidu added $19.09 to $399.67. Business software maker NetSuite ( N) fell 6.6%, giving up some gains from its stock market debut last week, when shares had climbed to a high of $45.98. The stock was recently down $2.55 to $36.20. Among the day's winners, MRV Communications ( MRVC) saw shares rise 21.4% to $2.50 after Source Photonics, a subsidiary of the Chatsworth, Calif., communications equipment maker, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering. Terms were not disclosed. Meanwhile, Newark, N.Y.-based Ultralife Batteries ( ULBI) jumped 16.5% to $19.52 after announcing it had landed a $40 million defense subcontract from an unidentified U.S. defense contractor to supply advanced communication systems. This order is a follow-on to another $62 million deal made announced last week. Ultralife said it expects to deliver the systems sometime in 2008. Most financial stocks were losing ground amid broad-market pressure and Buffett's comments on the sector. Troubled banking giant Citigroup ( C), for example, shed 1.7% to $30.45, and Ohio bank National City ( NCC) surrendered 2.1%. Among the solid financial gainers was investment firm Ampal-American Israel ( AMPL), which signed with Israel-based Merhav for the option to buy up to 35% equity of a sugar cane ethanol production venture in Colombia. Merhav is developing the project, said Ampal, and has inked a memorandum of understanding to buy between 25% and 35% of it from Columbian petroleum firm Ecopetrol.
The option expires in a year, when another party buys at least one-quarter of the project, or when Merhav gets third-party debt financing for it -- whichever occurs first. Ampal shares were climbing 5.9% to $7.78 in fairly light trading. Immtech Pharmaceuticals' ( IMM) stock took a beating Wednesday after the company announced the Food and Drug Administration put a clinical hold on its development program for pafuramidine, an experimental treatment in late-stage studies for Pneumocystis pneumonia and African sleeping sickness. The company said preliminary findings from a safety study revealed abnormal laboratory values in several volunteers following treatment with the drug, and patients are now being closely monitored for liver function. Shares fell $2.90, or 49.6%, to $2.95. Meanwhile, biopharmaceutical company NeurogesX ( NGSX) said Wednesday that on Sunday it entered into a securities purchase agreement to privately place more than 4 million shares of common stock at $6.18 a share and five-year warrants to purchase 1.2 million shares at $8.03 for 12.5 cents a piece for proceeds of roughly $25 million. NeurogesX shares edged up 13 cents, or 2.2%, at $6.17.