Companies whose stocks are expected to trade actively in today’s session are SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX) and Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB).

stocks to watch

SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR): The solar power company’s shares surged 26.26 percent to $7.73, after Lazard raised its ratings for SunPower to buy from neutral with $11 price target. Lazard said the stock has a strong sales visibility and it may become a highly competitive company in the solar market. On Wednesday, the company sold its stake in California solar project to MidAmerican Renewables.

The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): The specialty apparel company announced that its same-store sales in December rose 5 percent, compared to analysts’ estimate of 3.5 percent gain. The company has also approved a share buyback program worth $1 billion. Shares initially surged 5.2 percent in premarket trading, but were almost flat in early market trading.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO): The discount retailer reported a lower than estimated first quarter earnings. CEO Howard Levine said that the holiday selling season was much more challenging than expected. Family Dollar has also reduced its full-year earnings forecasts. Shares plunged 11 percent to $56.93.

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX): The data storage company is going through a rough patch as its sales continue to decline. Mellanox has substantially reduced its fourth quarter sales estimates due to weakening demand. Shares were down 16 percent to $51.43 in early market trading.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB): The biopharmaceutical firm said that its molecule for Lou Gehrig’s disease failed to meet its primary goals in Phase 3 clinical trials. So the company will have to discontinue work on this drug. Shares were down 3.5 percent to $144.89.

Another company to watch out today is CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT). In an attempt to boost its market share in lending to the midsize businesses, the company is acquiring commercial loan portfolio of Flagstar Bancorp Inc (NYSE:FBC) for $779 million.