Stock market news

Stocks that were in focus in U.S. trading on Friday include: Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX), American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII), The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX), NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP), The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW), Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI), Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC), Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL), Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK), Quanex Building Products Corporation (NYSE:NX) and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPPI).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow: 13190.80 (-0.91%), S&P 500: 1430.42 (-0.92%), NASDAQ: 3021.01 (-0.96%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3661.40 (-0.15%), DAX: 7636.23 (-0.47%), FTSE: 5939.99 (-0.31%)
•  Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4623.60 (-0.23%), China: 2153.31 (-0.70%), Hong Kong: 22506.29 (-0.68%), India: 5847.70 (-1.16%), Japan: 9940.06 (-1.00%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1660.80 (0.86%), Silver: 30.20 (1.77%), Copper: 3.57 (0.88%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 88.66 (-1.63%), Natural Gas: 3.42 (2.85%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 7.02 (0.79%), Soya Bean: 14.29 (1.74%), Wheat: 7.92 (0.19%)
•  Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3183 (0.49%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6171 (0.67%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 84.2350 (-0.13%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.761% (-0.035)

Market and Economy News Update

U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets finished lower, but managed to rebound from lows made earlier in the session, as a Republican proposal aimed at offering a solution to the U.S. “fiscal cliff” failed to garner enough support, raising fears that a deal will not get done before the end of the year. On the economic front, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey for December came in at 72.9. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 120.88 points, or 0.91 percent and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) lost 13.54 points, or 0.94 percent while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 29.38 points, or 0.96 percent. For the week, the Dow gained 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq was up 1.7 percent.

Oil prices tumble: Oil prices fell for the first time in six sessions amid investors concerns that a U.S. budget deal would not get done, leading the country into a recession. Crude oil for February delivery lost 1.6 percent, to settle at $88.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for February settlement shed 1 percent to $109.15 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Stocks in Focus

Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX), American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII)

Railcar maker Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) has rejected a sweetened offer from American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII), controlled by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, saying it still undervalued the company. American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII) had raised its offer by 10 percent to $22 per share, valuing Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) at $597 million, after Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) rejected an earlier $20 per share bid. Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) closed at $16.14 on the New York Stock Exchange, while American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII)’s shares closed at $32.24 on the NASDAQ.

The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX)

The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) said it bought privately held discount online retailer Sierra Trading Post for $200 million in cash, in a bid to expand its online business. The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) financed the deal from its existing cash balances, and expects the acquisition to add slightly to earnings beginning in fiscal 2014. Based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Sierra Trading Post sells clothing, shoes and other goods, primarily online and has annual revenue of around $200 million. The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) shares were down 40 cents at $41.95.

NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP)

NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP)’s once-daily short bowel syndrome drug Gattex has secured approval from U.S. health regulators. NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP) said it is planning to launch the drug in the U.S. in the first quarter of next year. Gattex improves intestinal absorption of nutrients, and reduces the frequency and volume of intravenous nutritional support. NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP) gained 0.4 percent to $9.10 in New York trading.

The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW), Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI)

The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) shareholders have approved Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI)’s proposed takeover of the company. The $3.04 billion deal, expected to close in the first quarter, won the approval of 83 percent of The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW)’s shareholders. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI) shareholders had approved the deal on Wednesday. Shares of The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW) rose 23 cents to $46.55 and shares of Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI) fell 17 cents to $45.32.

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO)

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) jumped the most in three months after announcing a collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) to develop as many as six injectable versions of its biotech drugs. Under the terms of the agreement, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) will receive an initial payment of $8 million, and is entitled to additional payments of up to $507 million if the products reach certain sales milestones. Shares of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) surged 27 percent, or $1.51, to $7.03, while Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) shares slipped 35 cents to $25.08.

Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE)

Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) has agreed to acquire a 61.6 percent equity stake in German hotel search site Trivago for around $632 million in cash and common stock, to beef up its European presence. Trivago, founded in 2005, processes about 100 million hotel searches annually. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year, and Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) expects earnings to get a boost from 2013. Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) shares were down 2.2 at $59.59, amid the broad market decline.

Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC)

Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC) said its board has announced a quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share. The dividend will be payable on February 20 to shareholders of record as of January 25. Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC)’s board urged shareholders to approve a 7 percent increase in its annual dividend to 64 cents per share. Shareholders will vote on the increase at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on March 6. Shares of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC) slid 0.3 percent to $29.38.

Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC)

Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC) has agreed to sell its domestic medical supplies business to medical equipment supplier AssuraMed for $150 million as part of efforts to shed non-core assets. Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC) expects to complete the sale by early 2013. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the deal to pay down debt and strengthen its balance sheet. Shares of Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC) moved higher on Friday.

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL)

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL)’s shares tanked 3 percent after fourth-quarter loss widened as the power-equipment manufacturer’s expenses grew. FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCEL) posted an adjusted net loss of 5 cents per share, in line with estimates. Revenue edged 2 percent higher to $35.4 million, beating expectations for $32.9 million. Gross margins for the period stood at 2.5 percent, up from the year-earlier quarter.

Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK)

Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK) has agreed to acquire privately held Italian ceramics manufacturer Marazzi Group for about $1.5 billion in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Marazzi Group, which employs close to 6,300 people, had revenue of $1.16 billion in 2011. Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK) said the acquisition is expected to boost its earnings in 2013. Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK) shares, which have gained 45 percent this year, jumped close to 5 percent.

Quanex Building Products Corporation (NYSE:NX)

Quanex Building Products Corporation (NYSE:NX) plunged in trade after fiscal fourth quarter profit missed Street expectations by a wide margin. Revenue also trailed estimates. Quanex Building Products Corporation (NYSE:NX) struggled with a large increase in overhead. The company recently announced a quarterly dividend of 4 cents per share, payable on December 28, to shareholders of record December 18.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPPI)

Biotechnology company Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPPI) said it surpassed the primary goal in a mid-stage trial of its experimental blood cancer drug belinostat. Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPPI) said it anticipates filing a new drug application with U.S. health regulators by mid-2013. Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPPI), which are down close to 22 percent over the past year, gained 3.7 percent to $11.72 in Friday trading.