As negotiations continue in Washington on a deal to avert the automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to kick in at the start of the new year, US equities stayed largely unchanged in spite of some positive economic reports.
The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence climbed to the highest level since February 2008 while the Commerce Department said that durable goods orders came in flat in October, when economists had expected a decline.
"Consumer confidence is very important to us, but we’ll ignore. I think we’ll start to pay attention to economic data as soon as we stop paying attention to negotiations in Washington over the fiscal cliff,” Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, told MarketWatch
The Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was up 0.21% to 2,982.90 points on average trading volume of 733.35 million as of 12:03 p.m. EST.
Far and away the leading gainer on the Nasdaq in intraday trading was Acadia Pharmaceuticals
(NASDAQ:ACAD), which exploded 142.61% to $5.58. Earlier, the stock was as high as $6.53. The stock hit its highest level since August 2009 after reporting success with its drug pimavanserin. According to Acadia, pimavanserin helped to reduce psychosis in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease in a late-stage trial.
(NASDAQ:PPHM) also surged 31.20% to $1.18. The company announced earlier that the Nasdaq Stock Market had warned Peregrine that its minimum bid price had fallen below $1.00 for 30 consecutive business days and was thus not in compliance with NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5550(a)(2). Peregrine was granted 180 calendar days, or until May 13, 2013, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement.
(NASDAQ:MNST) advanced 5.57% to $48.43. Investors likely thought that the stock was undervalued after it fell in recent weeks due to a Food and Drug Administration report in which the drinks the company produced were allegedly linked to the deaths of six people.
(NASDAQ:ATML) gained 3.67% to $5.22 after news that its new microcontroller was picked by Samsung
(PINK:SSNLF) as the sensor hub solution for its Galaxy Note II.
On its first day back since the stock’s trading was halted on November 8, Neptune Technologies & Bioresources
(NASDAQ:NEPT) plunged 28.13% to $2.38. The halt had come after a fire at the company’s production plant in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The nutritional supplement worker announced that it would lay off over 70 workers temporarily and cut salaries by at least 20% as it attempt to get back on track following the fire.
Research In Motion
(NASDAQ:RIMM), which had been up over 50% through yesterday over optimism for its upcoming BlackBerry 10, slid 6.43% to $11.21 on new that the BlackBerry’s US market share for a 12-week period ended October 28 dropped to 6.9%. Apple’s
(NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone share, meanwhile, soared to 48% from 22%, boosted largely by the release of the iPhone 5.
After an over 8% gain on Monday following several analyst upgrades, shares of Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) dipped 0.21% to $25.89, with investors likely indulging in some profit-taking. Since hitting a low of $17.55 in early September, Facebook has rallied almost 50%.
Shares of Seagate Technology
(NASDAQ:STX) (-3.86% to $26.29) and Western Digital
(NASDAQ:WDC) (-2.40% to $34.95) were also down in midday trading.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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