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

PharmAthene ( PIP) jumped by 36 cents, or nearly 20%, to $2.18 after the biodefense company said that the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, has intentions to negotiate a contract modification for continued development of its recombinant protective rPA anthrax vaccine candidate, SparVax. PharmAthene's comments verified reports last week that BARDA would negotiate a modification. Volume topped 3.9 million shares, compared to the three-month average daily volume of 492,000, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Melco Crown Entertainment ( MPEL) rallied by 52 cents, or 14.5%, to $4.10 after a report that gross casino revenue in Macau increased by 10% in 2009 to a record $14.9 billion, thanks to a 48% jump in gross revenue in December. Volume topped 19.1 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 7.7 million, according to the Nasdaq.

China Direct Industries ( CDII) sank by 18 cents, or 10.2%, to $1.58, retracing some of its recent price surge. On Monday, China Direct reintroduced an annual forecast due to improved visibility, sending shares higher by more than 30%. Volume topped 1.8 million shares, compared to the 50-day average daily volume of 157,000.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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