Shares of the following companies traded on heavy volume Tuesday morning. Investors may want to pay particular attention to these stocks. In this article we'll examine each company in detail to see what the reason is for the movement, and if there is an investment opportunity to be had.

Company Shares Traded* % of Average Volume
(3 month)
Landry\'s Seafood Restaurants
540,372 159%
Advance Auto Parts
2,473,740 148%
China Netcom Group
476,692 146%
426,401 122%
Short Dow 30 ProShares Fund
514,525 98%
* Data as of 10:30 am EDT October 7, 2008

Landry's Seafood Restaurants too Expensive
Landry's CEO, President and founder Tilman Fertitta is trying to buy up the stock to take the company private. Shares dropped about 10% this morning on volume much higher than average, as news hit that the acquisition is in jeopardy. The original $21 per share price tag is too high, Fertitta said, now that three restaurants have been closed in the wake of Hurricane Ike, the overall dining and gaming industry has slowed, and instability in the credit markets has helped to dry up his debt financing. Fertitta has restarted negotiations with Jefferies Group (NYSE:JEF), his financier, to try to take the company private at a lower price. (For more on acquisitions, be sure to check out our Mergers And Acquisitions Tutorial.)

Advance Auto Parts Running out of Gas
Early this morning, the No.2 auto parts retailer in the United States said that sales growth had slowed more than expected in this last quarter due to the credit markets and gasoline shortages in certain parts of the country. Shares fell about 13% at the opening bell, as the company updated its guidance to 57 cents per share; this is 9 cents lower than the average analyst expectation. Advance Auto Parts also stated that it expects this trend to continue, as economic conditions continue to worsen in the United States. Currently trading around $30 per share, Advance Auto is trading at the bottom of its 52 week range. (Gas prices hurting you as well? Read Getting A Grip On The Cost Of Gas.)

China Netcom Group Expecting Synergies
Shares of China Netcom traded heavily this morning, as the approved merger between China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and itself, nears. This merger is expected to create a leader in fully integrated telecom in China, and subject to satisfaction of the merger conditions, it will become effective next week. As China's economy continues to grow, this industry has huge potential - potential that the merged entity will be better positioned to seize, said China Netcom's CEO, Xunsheng Zuo. Shares traded almost 150% of their average daily volume by 10:30am, however there was no significant price change.

Varian Gets Cut
(NYSE:UBS) downgraded shares of scientific instrument provider Varian, this morning, to 'neutral' from 'buy'. The stock traded down about 2% on high volume on this news, nearing the bottom of its 52-week low of $37.20. With a history over the past two quarters of surprising analyst expectations to the downside, it is not surprising that the average EPS estimate has been dropped by 7 cents to 70 cents per share over the past quarter. A 'neutral' rating from UBS has obviously affected trading today, but such a small move to the downside might be showing that the downgrade was already expected and priced in to some extent. The most recent quarter ended on Sept. 28. Investors are still awaiting the earnings report. (For more on analyst expectations, be sure to read Analyst Forecasts Spell Disaster For Some Stocks.)

Short Dow 30 ProShares Fund
When the DJIA can fall more than 800 points in a matter of hours, it is not surprising that the short ETF that tracks the index is trading on heavy volume. Shares of this bearish ETF traded up about 1% this morning, as the Dow fell from its open of 9955 to 9855 in early trading. Since, the Dow has come back off of its daily lows, however with it nearing its 52-week low set just days ago, the action is expected to remain heavy on a security that bets against the market.

Add Your Two Cents
Will increasing volume be enough to sustain the current trends of these stocks? Be sure to join me (aytonmm) in the FREE Stock Picking Community to share your thoughts and see what other investors are saying.

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