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The Nasdaq Now: Baidu Hits New 52-Week Low; Facebook Surges


Staples and Zynga were also up on the day.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL In what has become a trend in the past week, US equities rose in early Tuesday trading, but were unable to hold on to gains, falling back into the red by midday, with investors continuing to fret about Europe and how the fiscal cliff will be resolved.

The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was down 0.11% to 2,880.61 points on robust trading volume of 881.13 million as of 12:05 p.m. EST.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the volume leader on the Nasdaq today, was up a robust 9.16% to $21.68 despite its latest lockup expiration, with some 800 million shares becoming eligible for sale today.

"While the lockup is expiring, there is nothing requiring anybody to sell," Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Group, told Reuters. "Given the low price, these long-term holders are deciding to hold the stock, and that is lifting it here as the fear of the expiration subsides."

Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) climbed 2.67% to $11.55 after an expectations-beating quarterly report. For the third quarter, Staples posted adjusted profit of $0.46 per share, beating the consensus estimate by $.01. The company also retained its full-year profit and sales outlook.

Despite the announcement that its Chief Financial Officer David Wehner would be leaving the company to join Facebook, Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) also inched up 2% to $2.15. The social gaming company did reiterate its full-year forecast yesterday, with sales expected to come in at around $1.09 billion to $1.1 billion, with full-year profit of $0.02 to $0.03 per share.

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) continued its recent poor run. Since October 26, shares have dropped 12.5%. Today, the Chinese search giant fell a further 5.68% to $93.00, setting a new 52-week low. As is the case with US tech leaders like Facebook and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), investors are concerned about Baidu's ability to monetize the growing mobile search market. Also, upstart search engine, Qihoo 360 (NYSE:QIHU), has proven to be a credible challenger to Baidu since its launch in the summer.

The bearish run of Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) also continued today, with shares down 1.53% to $50.20. Since November 5, when the company said the Street's estimates for its 2013 profit growth were "overly aggressive," the stock has plunged 20%.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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