Strong economic data failed to lift US stocks out of the post-elections doldrums, as major US indexes, after a sharp plunge yesterday, stayed all but flat in mid-Thursday trading.
The Labor Department reported that jobless claims for the previous week fell 8,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 355,000, when the consensus was a reading of 370,000. Additionally, the US trade deficit narrowed to $41.55 billion in September, thanks to an increase in exports. Wall Street had forecast the deficit to widen to $45.0 billion.
Nonetheless, the Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was down 0.35% to 2,926.93 points on average trading volume of 724.07 million as of 11:49 a.m. EST.
(NASDAQ:DUSA) surged 37.72% to $7.96 on news that it would be acquired for some $230 million, or $8 a share, by India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. The price represents a 38% premium on DUSA’s Wednesday closing price of $5.78.
(NASDAQ:EZCH) also jumped 15.22% to $34.98 after an expectations-beating earnings report. The company posted third-quarter earnings of $0.10 a share on revenue of $9.3 million, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.09 per share and revenue of $9.13 million.
(NASDAQ:QCOM) also enjoyed a strong 6.57% advance to $61.93. After the close on Wednesday, the mobile chipmaker reported estimates besting fiscal fourth-quarter results. Additionally, the company’s current-quarter earnings forecast also beat expectations. Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung said that growing LTE-based smartphone demand is boosting Qualcomm.
"At the upper end of the high-end smartphone market, Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung
(PINK:SSNLF), Qualcomm is seeing a noticeable shift to LTE devices," Yueng wrote in a report published Thurday. "In China, Citigroup expects smartphone [shipments] to increase from 186 million in 2012 to 317 million in 2013.
"At the core of this shift is the advent of retail $90-$120 3G smartphones. We anticipate Qualcomm will gain share in this transition."
Shares of Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners
(NASDAQ:CPRX) were hit hard, plunging 62.76% to $0.54, after the company’s cocaine addiction treatment did not reach its goal in its clinical trial.
(NASDAQ:PANL) also tumbled 17.67% to $23.20. The light-emitting diode technology developer surprised analysts with a third-quarter loss. The company also cut its full-year outlook to $80 million to $82 million from the previous range of $90 million to $110 million. Wall Street’s projection was $99.2 million.
After an estimates-missing third quarter report, Windstream
(NASDAQ:WIN) slid 8.60% to $8.61, hitting a new 52-week low in the process. The telecommunications company posted adjusted net income of $0.12 a share on revenue of $1.55 billion, when the mean estimate was $0.13 a share on $1.56 billion in revenue.
Apple was also down once again, falling 1.63% to $548.91 on worries that its chief supplier Foxconn would be unable to keep up with demand for the iPhone 5 because it had trouble meeting Apple’s strict quality standards.
Analysts were more optimistic about the tech giant however. Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron said in a research note that the sell-off was “overdone,” adding, “We believe Apple’s competitive position is unchanged and see it better positioned with a refreshed portfolio across all key segments heading into 2013. We see good potential for a rebound as iPhone/iPad demand holds up.”
Brian White of Topeka Capital shared a similar sentiment, writing that that “this correction is similar to the three others experienced over the past thirteen months, all of which proved to be attractive buying opportunities.”
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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