Stock market news

Post Market News: Stocks that were in focus in U.S. trading on Tuesday include: Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:HOV), Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL), D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE), Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC), Strum, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR), Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF), Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VNDA), FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:FDS), Silgan Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SLGN), SHFL entertainment Inc (NASDAQ:SHFL) and GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:GTAT).


Market Levels

•    US:  Dow: 13351.00 (0.87%), S&P 500: 1446.69 (1.14%), NASDAQ: 3054.53 (1.46%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3648.63 (0.29%), DAX: 7653.58 (0.64%), FTSE: 5935.90 (0.40%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4595.20 (0.48%), China: 2162.46 (0.10%), Hong Kong: 22494.73 (-0.08%), India: 5896.80 (0.66%), Japan: 9923.01 (0.95%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1670.70 (-1.62%), Silver: 31.67 (-1.89%), Copper: 3.65 (-0.34%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 87.93 (0.84%), Natural Gas: 3.33 (1.83%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 7.20 (-0.55%), Soya Bean: 14.60 (-1.86%), Wheat: 8.11 (0.40%)
•    Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3226 (-0.50%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6251 (-0.32%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 84.2150 (0.42%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.821% (0.050)


Market and Economy News Update

U.S. markets end higher: U.S. markets finished higher on Tuesday as investors cheered reports that a budget deal would soon be made in Washington to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rallied 115.57 points, or 0.9 percent, to 13,350.96 and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) advanced 16.43 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,446.79, while the NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) soared 43.93 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,054.53.

Oil prices rise: Oil prices gained for the third consecutive session on Tuesday, buoyed by signs of progress in U.S. budget talks, and continued uncertainty and political turmoil in the Middle East. Crude oil for January delivery added 0.8 percent, to settle at $87.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for January settlement jumped 1.2 percent to $108.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.


Stocks in Focus


Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL)

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) jumped in after-hours trading after quarterly earnings and revenue beat Wall Street’s expectations. Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) reported fiscal second-quarter earnings excluding items of 64 cents per share, up from 54 cents a share in the same period last year. Revenue edged 3.2 percent higher to $9.09 billion from $8.81 billion a year ago. Analysts were expecting Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) to earn 61 cents a share on $9.02 billion in revenue.


PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN)

PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:HOV), Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) and D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), all rallied in trade today after the home builder sentiment index climbed for an eighth-straight month, according to the NAHB.


General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) slipped 1.1 percent, following reports that the world’s largest jet-engine maker is close to an agreement to buy Avio SpA from British private equity firm Cinven Ltd, after the Italian supplier of aerospace components ended talks with French suitor Safran SA (EPA:SAF). A deal may be valued at about 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion). General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and Avio SpA declined to comment. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), last month, announced a joint venture partnership with Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH).


ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) will sell its Algerian business unit to Indonesian state energy company Pertamina for about $1.75 billion. The deal is expected to close by the middle of next year. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) has been offloading overseas assets to cut debt and position itself as an independent oil and gas producer. The company has already topped its target of asset sales worth $20 billion by the end of 2012. Shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) closed 1.8 percent higher at $59.30.


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) has named former Fortune Brands Inc Chief Executive Norman Wesley as chairman of its board and added David Mackay as an independent director, expanding its board of directors to 10 members. Michael Mardy, who has served as interim chairman for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) since May, after founder Robert Stiller was removed, will continue as a director. Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) were up 5.3 percent at $41.00.


Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE)

Steelmaker Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) forecast fourth-quarter earnings that missed Street estimates after growing imports and continued global economic uncertainty squeezed margins at its mills. Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) said it expects to report a fourth-quarter profit of 25 cents to 30 cents per share, less than the 33 cents a share average analysts’ estimate. Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) said the results forecast include an estimated accounting credit of $29 million or 6 cents per share for the fourth quarter, compared to $52 million or 11 cents per share in the year-ago period. Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) shares rose 2.1 percent to $43.64.


Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC)

Shares of firearm manufacturers fell again Tuesday on worries over the potential for new restrictions on gun sales following Friday’s Newtown school massacre that left 27 people dead, most of them young children. Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC) shares were down 10 percent at $7.79 in heavy trading on the NASDAQ, while Strum, Ruger & Company (NYSE:RGR) shares were off 8 percent at $40.60 on the New York Stock Exchange. Sentiment was also affected by news that private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management would sell gun maker Freedom Group.


Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF)

Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF) said fiscal fourth-quarter earnings jumped 48 percent as the investment bank benefited from higher trading revenue. Profit rose to $72 million, or 31 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $48 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same period last year. Excluding items, earnings stood at 35 cents per share, 3 cents above the average analysts’ estimate. Revenue for the period increased 39 percent to $769 million, also above estimates of $722.6 million. Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF)’s trading revenue more than doubled to $293 million from $141 million in the year-ago period, helped by strength at its fixed-income unit. Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF) shares closed up 3.1 percent at $18.80.


Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VNDA)

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VNDA) moved higher after the company reported positive results for a late-stage trial of its drug to treat a rare disorder affecting blind people. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VNDA) said its study of 84 patients showed that those taking the drug tasimelteon showed improvements in a number of sleep parameters, like sleep time, nap duration and timing of sleep. The treatment has been granted orphan-drug status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators. Earlier this month, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VNDA)’s schizophrenia drug Fanapt received a negative opinion from the European Medicines Agency.


FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:FDS)

FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:FDS) shares tumbled 4.4 percent after the financial information provider posted lower than expected first quarter revenue, and provided current quarter outlook that was largely below estimates. FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:FDS) reported first quarter revenue of $211.1 million, trailing estimates of $212.3 million. For the current quarter, the company forecast earnings of $1.11 to $1.13 per share, on revenue of $212 million and $215 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.13

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