US equities struggled to hold on to gains in mid-Wesnesday trading, with continued fears over the looming fiscal cliff negating optimism over the likely announcement of more stimulatory measures from the Federal Reserve later in the day.
“We believe expanded Fed stimulus would do little to dramatically improve current employment or Main Street economic conditions, but would provide a short-term boost to the stock and commodity markets as some of the Fed’s money flow would recycle back into ‘risk-based’ assets,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D.A. Davidson, according to MarketWatch
The Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was down 0.09% to 3,019.48 points on trading volume of 697.17 million as of 12:08 p.m. EST.
A leading Nasdaq gainer was Peregrine Pharmaceuticals
(NASDAQ:PPHM), which jumped 11.45% to $1.35. In a Tuesday press release, the company said that it has regained full compliance with the Nasdaq Capital Market's minimum bid price continued listing requirement. According to a Nasdaq letter sent to Peregrine, as of December 10, 2012, the company exhibited a closing bid price of its common stock in excess of the $1.00 minimum requirement for at least 10 consecutive trading days.
After the market close yesterday, Peregrine also posted its fiscal second-quarter results. The company posted a consolidated net loss of $8.75 million or $0.08 per basic and diluted share. The consensus had been a loss of $0.09 per share.
(NASDAQ:ACAD) improved 12.39% to $4.98 after it announced a $86 million private equity financing plan. Shares of Acadia’s common stock will be sold at $4.43 per share, the closing market price on December 11, and the private placement is expected to close on December 17. The company said the funds would go towards financing the completion of its Phase III trial program for its potential first-in-class treatment for Parkinson's disease psychosis, pimavanserin.
(NASDAQ:BGMD) also rose 4.14% to $3.52. Yesterday, the stock rose an astounding 154.14% after it was reported that the company had obtained a CE mark that enabled the commercial sale of its CardioSCORE test in the EU and other countries that recognize the CE Mark. The CardioSCORE test is the BG Medicine’s blood test used to calculate risk of major cardiovascular events beyond traditional risk factor assessments, such as the Framingham Risk Score and European SCORE.
(NASDAQ:CLWR) also spiked 2.99% to $2.76 after Bloomberg reported that Sprint
(NYSE:S) was considering using the cash from the Softbank
(PINK:SFTBF) takeover to buy the 50% of Clearwire shares it doesn’t already own.
(NASDAQ:GRPN) (+4.42% to $4.61) and Zynga
(NASDAQ:ZNGA) (+3.67% to $2.54) also advanced on the day. Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 5.56% to $90.87 after Morgan Stanley raised its price target for the company to $105 from $80, citing Netflix’s potential to “disrupt the long-standing premium cable ecosystem.”
(NASDAQ:STX) declined 2.34% to $27.98 on the day, with JPMorgan cutting its rating on the disk drive-maker to Underweight from Neutral, citing weak trendlines in the hard disk drive market and the possibility of Seagate losing market share next year as existing contracts with original equipment makers expire.
(NASDAQ:FB), which officially joined the Nasdaq-100 Index
(INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) today, also slid 1.68% to $27.51.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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