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The Nasdaq Now: Ceradyne Surged on 3M Acquisition

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Research In Motion and Facebook were also up on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Strong data from the manufacturing sector lifted US equities on the first trading session of the fourth quarter, with the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) up 0.41% to 3,129.07 points on average volume of 761.05 million as of 12:06 p.m. EDT.

A report from the Institute of Supply Management showed that manufacturing expanded for the first time since May, with the ISM index rising to 51.5 in September from 49.6 in August, beating the consensus estimate of 49.7. A figure above 50 indicates expansion while one below 50 indicates contraction.

Leading all Nasdaq gainers was Fonar Corp, (NASDAQ:FONR), which soared 43.74% to $5.39 after it announced it had recorded its ninth successive profitable quarter, with fiscal fourth-quarter earnings coming in at $1.9 million

Ceradyne (NASDAQ:CRDN) was also up a mammoth 42.94% to $34.92 after it was announced that 3M (NYSE:MMM) would acquire the ceramic components maker for $860 million.

Two much-maligned stocks also registered gains. Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) was up 2.67% to $7.70 while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) moved up 2.31% to $22.16 after Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein retained his Outperform rating on the social network, though he lowered his price target to $27 from $41.

Among the losers was Gordmans Stores (GMAN), whose shares plunged 24.17% to $13.99 after the company lowered third-quarter profit estimates to $0.18 to $0.20 per share from its previous estimate of $0.24 to $0.26 per share.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) continued to bleed, with the stock dropping 14.76% to $0.88 in the aftermath of the company saying that clinical trial results released on its new lung cancer drug, bavituximab, in early September were erroneous.

Jakks Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK) also fell 5.39% to $13.79 after the toymaker lowered its 2012 full-year guidance, citing "disappointing" US product sales and a slowdown in orders.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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