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The Nasdaq Now: Netflix Dips on 'Underperform' Rating

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Iris International and Renewable Energy are up in midday trading.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stocks are taking a breather after hitting multi-year highs last week, with the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) down a slight 0.22% to 3,176.85 points as of 12:14 p.m. on anemic trading volume of 639.61 million.

"We had a couple of days of pretty strong runs," Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments, told Reuters. "It looks like a little bit of profit taking."

One of the top Nasdaq gainers on the day is in-vitro diagnostics company Iris International (IRIS), whose shares are up 45.12% to $19.48. Earlier in the day, news broke that Danaher Corp (DHR) (+0.18% to $54.86) will acquire Iris for $19.50 per share, or about $338 million.

Shares of bio-diesel maker Renewable Energy (REGI) also continued to rally, up 23.57% to $7.55. On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency set new diesel standards, mandating the amount of bio-diesel products to be included in diesel fuel markets in 2013 at 1.28 billion gallons.

Old reliable Apple (AAPL) edges ever closer to the $700 mark as it climbs 1.02% to $698.33. The Cupertino, California-based company announced that the iPhone 5 broke sales record as the new device received over 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours of availability, doubling the previous mark set by the iPhone 4S.

Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD) is the biggest decliner in intraday trading, down 18.25% to $7.13. The company released mixed mid-stage data of its pancreatic cancer drug, TH-302 early Monday, which raised concerns among investors. Year-to-date, Threshold shares have jumped 430%.

Netflix (NFLX) also dips 5.01% to $57.49 after Macquarie initiated coverage of the online streaming video company with an Underperform rating, noting that Netflix has worries about rising content costs.

"In keeping with our positive thesis on media names like Time Warner and CBS, we believe content owners rule the roost; Netflix is a price taker in an increasingly competitive market," said Macquarie research analyst Tim Nollen in his note. Nollen set a $50 price target on shares of Netflix.

Facebook (FB), the Nasdaq's most-traded stock of the day, is down 0.73% to $21.84.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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