Stock market news

Post Market Update

Stocks that were in focus in U.S. trading on Monday include: J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX), American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII), BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR), Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA), Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow: 13139.10 (-0.39%), S&P 500: 1426.66 (-0.24%), NASDAQ: 3012.60 (-0.28%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3652.61 (-0.24%), DAX: 7636.23 (0.00%), FTSE: 5951.71 (0.20%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4635.20 (0.25%), China: 2159.05 (0.27%), Hong Kong: 22541.18 (0.15%), India: 5855.75 (0.14%), Japan: 9940.06 (0.00%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1659.50 (-0.04%), Silver: 29.90 (-1.01%), Copper: 3.55 (-0.59%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 88.50 (-0.18%), Natural Gas: 3.48 (1.61%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 7.04 (0.32%), Soya Bean: 14.35 (0.45%), Wheat: 7.93 (0.22%)
•    Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3185 (-0.01%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6126 (0.27%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 84.8250 (0.71%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.773% (0.011)

Market and Economy News Update

U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets finished lower in a shortened trading session on Monday amid worries that a U.S. budget deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” would not get done, leading the country to recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 51.76 points, or 0.39 percent, to end at 13,139.08 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dipped 3.49 points, or 0.24 percent, to finish at 1,426.66 while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) slid 8.41 points, or 0.28 percent, to close at 3,012.60. No major economic reports were released today.

Oil prices fall: Oil prices dropped on Monday amid investors concerns about the deadlock in U.S. budget talks ahead of looming mandated tax hikes and spending cuts. Crude oil for February delivery lost 0.2 percent, to settle at $88.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for February settlement edged 0.1 percent higher to $109.07 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Stocks in Focus

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) rallied is trade today after Oppenheimer said the retailer’s return to promotions during the holidays is showing signs of success. The brokerage said that traffic in two J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) stores in New York New, it visited over the weekend, was significantly better than recent months. Oppenheimer has an “outperform” rating on the stock, with a $30 price target. J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) shares are down more than 40 percent year to date.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) fell for the ninth consecutive session after the company said it will hold a meeting with analysts and investors on January 10, instead of January 7 announced earlier. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) also said that it expects to exceed its previously-announced buyback authorization guidance of $50 million in upcoming quarters. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), whose shares have shed more than a third of their value since Wednesday, when hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman said he was shorting the stock, announced that it has hired Moelis & Co. as a strategic adviser.

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN)

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) moved lower after the daily deals site announced late Friday that it has acquired online retail manager CommerceInterface for undisclosed terms. Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) has used CommerceInterface’s technology since April to help manage its product sales, including the relationships it has with thousands of existing vendors. Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) said CommerceInterface will no longer service other customers, who will have six months to transition off the platform.

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

Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) fell 3 percent to $15.64 after Carl Icahn disclosed that he has cut his Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) stake to 3.41 percent after the company rejected a sweetened offer of $22 a share from Icahn-controlled American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII). Icahn late announced Friday that an affiliate had sold nearly 1.79 million shares of Greenbrier Companies Inc (NYSE:GBX) at $16.30 per share. American Railcar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARII), dropped 3.5 percent to $31.12.

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has delayed a ruling on whether to approve a BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) copper exchange-traded fund, a week after approving a similar product proposed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). The regulator set a new and final deadline of February 22 to rule on the BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) fund. BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK)’s fund would be about twice as large as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s ETF, holding about 121,200 metric tons of copper compared with the 61,800 tons that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s XF Physical Copper Trust will hold.

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR)

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its medicine to lower cholesterol in patients with a rare genetic disease called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. The drug, called Juxtapid, is Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR)’s first approved product. However, the regulator said the biopharmaceutical company must attach a black box warning to inform patients of the drug’s liver toxicity. Shares of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEGR) tanked 1.8 percent to $25.25.

Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA)

Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA) said it has received notice from one of its largest shareholders, Starboard Value LP, who plans to nominate as many as seven candidates to the semiconductor-packaging company’s board. Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA) said Starboard didn’t indicate the exact number of candidates it expects to nominate. Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRA) shares fell 0.5 percent to close at $16.39.

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA)

Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) has announced a joint venture with Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) to build and operate the Kitimat LNG project and develop shale-gas resources at the Liard and Horn River basins in British Columbia on Canada’s west coast. Apache Canada, a subsidiary of Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA), and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) will each hold 50 percent in the Kitimat LNG plant, the Pacific Trail Pipeline and 644,000 acres in northern British Columbia, the companies said today. Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) will operate the upstream assets, while Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) will operate the LNG plant and the pipeline.