US stocks hovered around yesterday’s closing levels, with investors choosing to stay cautious after mixed economic data and continued uncertainty over the fiscal cliff.
Domestically, consumer sentiment for November improved marginally but fell below forecasts, while initial jobless claims for last week met expectations. Across the Atlantic, European financial bodies reached an impasse on a solution to Greece’s debt problems once again, providing little clarity for investors.
"We are in a bit of a holding period here. Everybody is focused on the fiscal cliff and any indications of a settlement between Congress and the White house and any indications of what that settlement might be," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group, to Reuters
The Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was up 0.14% to 2,920.87 points on weak trading volume of 622.42 million as of 12:07 p.m. EST.
One of the leading Nasdaq gainers was Chinese stock YY
(NASDAQ:YY), which made its market debut today. YY, the first Chinese IPO since April, increased 8.57% to $11.40. The social media company, with a focus on gaming and video chatting, priced its offering at $10.50.
(NASDAQ:VVUS) surged 13.62% to $11.76 after insurer Aetna
(NYSE:AET) said it will cover Vivus’s weight loss drug Qsymia and others like Pfizer's
(NYSE:PFE) Didrex, Roche's
(PINK:RHHBY) Xenical, and GlaxoSmithKline's
(NASDAQ:MIPS) also jumped 6.68% to $7.51 after the provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores received a new $75 million buyout offer from mobile chip designer CEVA
(NASDAQ:CEVA). Earlier, British microprocessing firm Imagination Technologies
(LON:IMG) had put in a $60 million bid for the company.
(NASDAQ:GRPN) continued its resurgence, advancing another 5.85% to $3.57 after an 8.36% increase yesterday. Though it doesn’t appear as if fundamentals have suddenly changed, investors clearly view New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global’s purchase of a 9.9% stake (65 million shares) in the online daily deals company a vote of confidence.
(NASDAQ:FB) also buzzed up 5.76% to $24.43. This marked the stock’s highest intraday level since July.
Among decliners, Scholastic
(NASDAQ:SCHL) was one of the worst hit, plunging 17.09% to $26.40. The company cut its May 2013 fiscal outlook to $1.40 to $1.60 per share from $2.20 to $2.40 per share, citing reduced spending on curriculum products as school funding was increasingly being diverted to standardized testing.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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