Investors struggled to escape from the holiday funk, with US stocks down on fresh worries that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff will not be completed in time.
Earlier today, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said that "it looks like that's where we're headed” when he was asked if the US would fall over the cliff.
"We've got continued uncertainty and probably not much progress on the fiscal cliff," Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago, told MarketWatch
. "From a game-theory perspective, it's in many Democrats' and Republicans' best interests not to negotiate a deal right away and push it into the next year.”
The Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was down 0.96% to 2,960.98 points on weak trading volume of 527.85 million as of 12:02 p.m. EST.
Shares of Shanghai-based BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing
(NASDAQ:BCDS) soared 92.02% to $7.64 after it was reported that Diodes
(NASDAQ:DIOD) (+3.25%) would purchase the company for $151 million, or $8 per share.
(NASDAQ:DECK) jumped 9.23% to $38.10 on a Sterne Agee report that projected improved sales and margins in the latter half of 2013 for the company.
(NASDAQ:EXPE) also climbed 3.56% to $59.99.
Smith & Wesson
(NASDAQ:SWHC) advanced 3.08% to $8.20 after it announced that it would buy back an additional $15 million of shares. The gun maker already has a $20 million stock-buyback plan scheduled to run through June 30 next year and the latest $15 million in stock purchases will have the same deadline.
Shares of gun makers like Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger
(NYSE:RGR) have been battered in recent weeks following the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connnecticut. Following the shooting, lawmakers in Washington have repeatedly said that they plan to introduce stricter gun control policies in 2013.
Among decliners, Questcor Pharmaceuticals
(NASDAQ:QCOR) fell 5.92% to $28.13 while Daktronics
(NASDAQ:DAKT) retreated 2.32% to $10.61.
(NASDAQ:MRVL) fell 3.51% to $7.14. Yesterday, the company lost a patents infringement lawsuit and was ordered by a jury to pay Carnegie Mellon University close to $1.17 billion in damages. JMP Securities subsequently downgraded Marvell to Market Perform, saying that the amount it has to pay in damages “significantly calls into question how much of a valuation safety net is in place for the stock.”
After rising 11.45% in yesterday’s session, Research In Motion
(NASDAQ:RIMM) gave back some of those gains, sliding 2.43% to $11.54.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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