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The Nasdaq Now: Facebook Hits Near Three-Month High

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United Therapeutics and Netflix were down on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL After a modest rise at the open, the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gave back some of its gains in mid-Wednesday trading, as investors continue to weigh corporate earnings releases.

The Nasdaq was down 0.28% to 2,982.22 points on above-average trading volume of 903.33 million as of 12:10 p.m. EDT.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was one of the index's greatest gainers, leaping 20.18% to $23.43. Earlier, the stock hit $24.25, making today the first time since July 30 that Facebook has risen above the $24 level. The social network released strong corporate earnings Tuesday. Importantly, Facebook reported that 14% of its total sales came from mobile, which was an indicator that the company was improving its ability to monetize its mobile business. Bank of America and Citi upgraded Facebook to Buy from Neutral following the company's earnings report.

"What investors have for the first time since the Facebook IPO is fundamentals acceleration WITH a reasonable valuation," Mark Mahaney of Citi noted.

RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:RFMD) also surged 8.65% to $4.27 in the wake of its earnings release. The iPhone 5 supplier reported earnings of $0.03 per share on revenue of just under $210 million, beating Wall Street's forecast of earnings per share of $0.01 and revenue of under $200 million. Crucially, the company also sounded a bullish note for its fourth-quarter earnings, saying that fourth-quarter earnings will be coming in at $0.06 per share on revenue of $245 million, compared to its previous projections of earnings per share of $0.04 and revenue of $219 million.

United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR) was one of the worst-performing Nasdaq stocks of the day, plunging 13.03% to $46.34 after the FDA rejected the company's lung disorder drug, Remodulin.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), meanwhile, slid 14.42% to $58.38 on worries about future growth. The DVD-rental and video-streaming company revised its 2012 forecast for total streaming subscribers downwards to between 26.4 million and 27.1 million, which means that it would have added 4.7 million to 5.4 million new subscribers this year. Earlier, Netflix had projected an increase of 7 million subscribers.

Compuware (NASDAQ:CPWR) also fell 14.96% to $8.07 after reporting an earnings miss. For its fiscal second quarter, the company posted earnings of $0.05 per share, when the consensus estimate had been $0.06 per share.


Twitter: @sterlingwong
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