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The Nasdaq Now: Apple, Amazon Move in Opposite Directions After Analyst Action

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Peregrine Pharmaceuticals and Vivus were up on the day.

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After last week's fiscal cliff resolution-inspired rally, US stocks edged down in mid-Monday trading, as investors turned their attention towards the start of the new corporate earnings season.

"It looks like we're catching our breath as we head into fourth-quarter earnings," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research, according to CNBC. "We're seeing some very similar action to last year where expectations are low and you already have a lot of negativity out there. So any good news at all could be a potential catalyst for equities."

The Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was down 0.32% to 3,091.67 points on trading volume of 815.87 million as of 12:21 p.m. EST.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) soared 71.85% to $2.32 after the company provided an update on the internal review of its phase II trial of its lung cancer treatment, bavituximab. The company was also upgraded to Buy from Neutral by Roth Capital.

Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) also leapt 7.35% to $14.76 after it reported that prescriptions for its obesity drug Qsymia increased 68% in the month ended December 21 compared to the previous month. Shares of the company were also added to the US 1 List of favored equities at Bank of America.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) briefly hit its all-time high of $269.30 before retreating to $266.25 (+2.74%). Earlier, the stock received a Overweight from Equal Weight boost from Morgan Stanley.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) also advanced 1.98% to $97.88 after reaching a deal with Warner Bros to bring previous seasons of serial dramas produced by the latter to Netflix customers.

Shares of Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) plunged 6.67% to $51.11 after Roche Holding (PINK:RHHBY) chairman Franz Humer said in an interview with a Swiss newspaper that his company's proposed deal to acquire Illumina was "definitively" off the table.

With all eyes on Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) as it unveils its first consumer gaming device, and a new mobile application processor, the stock slid 2.85% to $12.78.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) dipped 0.65% to $523.56 after Barclays cut its price target on the stock to $740 from $800, while Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) declined 2.06% to $19.45 after it was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Sanford C. Bernstein.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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