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The Nasdaq Now: Apple Enjoys Midday Turnaround


Sirius XM Radio and Zynga were also up on the day.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL There was little change in US stocks in mid-Thursday trading, with investors still focused on the looming fiscal cliff, although Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) midday recovery helped push the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) into the green.

"I think this will get resolved, if not by end of the year, by early 2013," said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group, according to MarketWatch.

The Nasdaq was up 0.64% to 2,992.83 points on average trading volume of 781.26 million as of 12:01 p.m. EST.

All eyes were, of course, on Apple after the Nasdaq titan plunged 6.44% yesterday on a series of worries, including a court case with Samsung (PINK:SSNLF), the raising of margin requirements for Apple trades, tablet market share loss, and the risk of a so-called "death cross." Shares fell a further 2% in the morning but rallied by the afternoon, improving 2.40% to $551.75.

Analysts remain bullish on the tech giant. "We recommend investors stay the course in Apple," noted Brian Marshall, a tech analyst at ISI Group, according to the Wall Street Journal

"Apple has refreshed nearly its entire product line in about a two-month span, and this is generating record demand," Marshall continued. "While many are concerned over supply [constraints], we believe investors should look holistically at the big picture: Availability is improving and Apple products remain the 'gift of choice' this holiday season."

Apple bull and Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White added, "Given our view that the fundamental story around Apple remains strongly intact, we believe this latest decline is setting up another attractive buying opportunity. Once the tax-related selling abates, the stock will move sharply higher."

BSD Medical (NASDAQ:BSDM) soared 26.18% to $1.88 after the company reported a 586% year-to-year rise in sales of its MicroThermX Microwave Ablation System product line for the fiscal quarter ended November 30.

Epoch Investment Partners (NASDAQ:EPHC) also jumped 26.43% to $27.70. It was reported earlier that the company will be acquired by TD Bank (NYSE:TD) for $28-per-share, or $668 million, which represents a 28% premium to Epoch's Wednesday closing price of $21.91.

Shares of Net 1 UEPS (NASDAQ:UEPS) continued their recovery after they lost over 50% of their value on Tuesday on news that the company was being investigated by US regulators on allegations of bribery. The stock leapt 24% yesterday and was up 17.53% to $4.76 in intraday trading.

Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) also advanced 1.81% to $2.82. The company announced earlier that it would buy back $2 billion of common stock and would offer a special cash dividend of $0.05 per share, payable on December 28 to shareholders as of market close on December 18. Sirius XM said it would likely pay some $325 million in cash dividends in total.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) also surged 7.76% to $2.50 after the Wall Street Journal reported last night that the social gaming company has filed preliminary paperwork in Nevada to obtain a gaming license, making this its first official move towards adding real-money gambling games to its business.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) was a heavy decliner, falling 7.54% to $1.18. In November, shares of the company improved 81%, though the stock is still some 75% down from its 52-week high in September.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) also slid 5.03% to $39.10 on the day rival Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, who also raised its price target to $62 from $55.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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