Morning Buzz: Amazon.com (AMZN), EMC Corp (EMC), Ocean Rig UDW (ORIG), NovoCure (NVCR), VIVUS Inc. (VVUS)

Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) are down marginally in pre-market hours after the company introduced this morning “Amazon Handmade”, its long-anticipated e-commerce website selling artisan goods.

“We have designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world, and they’re adding thousands of items daily,” stated Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “Knowing an item has a unique story behind it creates a personal experience that customers have told us makes owning handmade items special. Handmade at Amazon offers customers more than 80,000 quality handcrafted items from around the world, and over 30 percent can be personalized by artisans to delight customers.”

Amazon’s new site, which offers goods categories such as jewelry, home decor, artwork, stationary and party supplies, kitchen and dining items, and furniture, is seen as a competitor to Etsy, Inc. (ETSY).

EMC Corporation (EMC) shares are up 3.40% to $26.84 in pre-market trading following a WSJ report saying the data storage firm is in advanced talks to be bought by computer maker Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. The paper noted the deal could be reached within a week. If it materializes, it would be one of the biggest LBOs ever. Meantime, CNBC reports Dell’s offer for EMC would be for more than $27/share.

EMC has a current market cap of $49.97 billion. Offering a dividend yield of 1.77%, shares of Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based company are down 6.08% yoy and 11.49% year-to-date.

Shares of Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (ORIG) are down $0.42, or 16.03%, at $2.20, after the offshore deepwater drilling services company this morning announced an update on its fleet, stating “[t]he market continues to remain challenging due to the massive spending cuts initiated by the oil companies. In this environment, cash preservation and liquidity remain our number one priority and we will adjust our available capacity to the new market conditions.”

NovoCure Limited (NVCR) share price edged closer to 52-wkh levels ($20.48) in pre-market trading Thursday, riding on the bullish sentiment over a favorable mention on Wednesday’s Mad Money.

NVCR was up 1.76 points, or 11.04%, to $17.70 as of 9:15 a.m ET.

VIVUS Inc. (VVUS) shares climbed 19.23% to $2.17 in morning trading following Icahn Enterprises’ (IEP) announcement of expiration of its tender offer of VIVUS’ 4.50% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020. Minimum condition was satisfied.

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