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The Nasdaq Now: Topsy-Turvy Day of Trading for Apple


Groupon and Zynga were down on the day.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL It's the start of a new trading week and investors are back on fiscal cliff watch, which meant stocks remained little changed from Friday's close.

Until a deal on the budget is reached, daily economic reports will have little impact on equities, said Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, who said that US economic data "to an extent is going to be playing to an empty house until we get a substantive agreement out of Washington."

The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was up 0.38% to 2,989.34 points on tepid trading volume of 672.66 million as of 12:20 p.m. EST.

One of the best midday performers was Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX), which soared 21.92% to $6.73 after the company reported positive news for its Phase 2b study of its breast cancer treatment, CDX-011.

Similarly, Geron Corp. (NASDAQ:GERN) jumped 25.47% to $1.33 after announcing positive clinical results from the Phase 2 trial of imetelstat, its first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, in patients with essential thrombocythemia.

With the stock set to join the Nasdaq 100 later in the week, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) improved 0.93% to $27.74.

Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) traded choppily all day, dipping as low as $521.58 in the morning before turning green and moving up to as high as $538.51. By midday, it was down 0.02% at $533.17. Earlier, Jefferies had cut its price target on the stock to $800 from $900, citing dramatically slowing growth for the fiscal year ending September 2014 because of an increasingly saturated smartphone market.

Piper Jaffray, however, kept its $900 target on Apple, saying that the company's fundamentals remain solid.

Shares of Zogenix (NASDAQ:ZGNX) plunged 46.61% to $1.26 after a Food and Drug Administration panel voted against approving the company's painkiller, citing addiction risks. Today, Oppenheimer subsequently downgraded Zogenix to Perform from Outperform.

"We do not anticipate that Zogenix will receive approval by the March 1, 2013 review date, with potential approval likely delayed until abuse risks are mitigated," said Christopher Holterhoff of Oppenheimer in a note

Stifel Nicolaus also downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, with analyst Annabel Samimy saying that although "timely approval still remains a viable possibility, we are more skeptical of Zohydro's ultimate contribution."

Volatile social media stocks Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) also slipped. On Friday, shares of Groupon soared over 24% after Bloomberg reported that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) might make an offer for the daily deals company. However, those rumors have been downplayed, with Evercore Partners analyst Ken Sena saing in a note, "We find no basis for these [Google acquisition] claims." Groupon was down 6.94% to $4.36. Meanwhile, Zynga also declined 3.73% to $2.46.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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