Stock market news

Post Market Update

Stocks that were in focus in U.S. trading on Monday include: Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS), Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO), Walter Investment Management Corp (NYSEAMEX:WAC), EnergySolutions, Inc. (NYSE:ES), Cleantech Solutions International Inc (NASDAQ:CLNT), Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR), Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM), Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK), ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) and CombiMatrix Corporation (NASDAQ:CBMX).

Market Levels

•    US:  Dow: 13384.30 (-0.38%), S&P 500: 1461.89 (-0.31%), NASDAQ: 3098.81 (-0.09%)
•    Europe: CAC: 3704.64 (-0.69%), DAX: 7732.66 (-0.57%), FTSE: 6064.58 (-0.42%)
•    Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4717.30 (-0.14%), China: 2285.36 (0.37%), Hong Kong: 23321.27 (-0.04%), India: 5988.40 (-0.46%), Japan: 10599.01 (-0.84%).
•    Metals: Gold: 1646.30 (-0.16%), Silver: 30.08 (0.45%), Copper: 3.68 (-0.42%)
•    Energy: Crude Oil: 93.19 (0.11%), Natural Gas: 3.27 (-0.64%)
•    Commodities: Corn: 6.85 (0.77%), Soya Bean: 13.88 (1.55%), Wheat: 7.51 (0.54%)
•    Currency: Euro (€) / US Dollar ($) (EURUSD): 1.3115 (-0.38%), British Pound Sterling (UK£) / US Dollar ($) (GBPUSD): 1.6117 (-0.29%), US Dollar ($) / Japanese Yen (¥) (USDJPY): 87.7850 (-0.42%)
•    10 year US Treasury: 1.900% (0.002)

Market and Economy News Update

U.S. markets end lower: U.S. markets managed to rebound from lows made earlier in the session, but still finished lower on Monday, as investors await the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season, with aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) scheduled to post results on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell 50.92 points, or 0.38 percent, to end at 13,384.29, and the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) slid 4.58 points, or 0.31 percent, to finish at 1,461.89. The NASDAQComposite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) dipped 2.85 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 3,098.81.

Oil prices gain: Oil prices finished marginally higher on Monday as traders looked ahead to the start-up of a Midwest pipeline that is expected to reduce the crude oil glut around the key delivery point of Cushing, Oklahoma. Crude oil for February delivery added 0.1 percent, to settle at $93.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for February settlement rose 0.2 percent to $111.51 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Stocks in Focus

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Video-streaming service Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) rose 3.4 percent after announcing a new licensing agreement with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX)’s Warner Bros. Television Group. The agreement covers a current slate of eight Warner Bros. shows and comes about a month after Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) signed a similar deal with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) for exclusive access to online content.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) moved higher despite activist investor Bill Ackman telling Bloomberg News that he will spend “whatever it costs and do whatever is required to make sure the world understands the facts about this company.” Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s shares have been trying to rebound from the sharp drop suffered last month after Ackman publicly accused the company of building up a pyramid scheme. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) Chief Executive Officer Michael Johnson has dismissed Ackman’s allegation, calling it “bogus.”

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG)

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) said it expects 2012 earnings to come in at the higher end of its previous guidance, and forecast 2013 profit in line with Street projections. Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) also reported positive results from two late-stage trials of a drug for the skin disorder psoriasis. Shares of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) rose 4.4 percent to close at $85.73.

Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)

Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) surged 8.2 percent after the company reported strong sales of its obesity drug, Qsymia. Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) said that the number of prescriptions shipped for its obesity drug Qsymia increased 68 percent to 12,978 in the four weeks ended December 21, up from 7,749 in the same period last month. Qsymia is only the second long-term weight loss drug approved in the U.S. since 1999. Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) started selling it in September.

Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO)

Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) has filed an amended credit agreement with the U.S.  Securities and Exchange Commission to borrow up to $4 billion under a revolving credit facility. Shares of Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) fell after the announcement. Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) was also downgraded to “sector perform” from “focus stock” by analysts at Howard Weil.

Walter Investment Management Corp (NYSEAMEX:WAC)

Walter Investment Management Corp (NYSEAMEX:WAC) climbed in Monday trading after agreeing to buy mortgages from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) as part of a legal settlement the banking giant made with Fannie Mae. The deal includes $93 billion of Fannie Mae-backed loan servicing rights. Walter Investment Management Corp (NYSEAMEX:WAC) also said it has signed a deal to buy the mortgage-servicing platform of Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET).

EnergySolutions, Inc. (NYSE:ES)

Nuclear waste management company EnergySolutions, Inc. (NYSE:ES) has agreed to be taken private by investment firm Energy Capital Partners for $338.5 million. The announcement comes two months after EnergySolutions, Inc. (NYSE:ES) said it would have to sell assets to cut its debt. Shares of EnergySolutions, Inc. (NYSE:ES) were up 8.4 percent at $3.73.

Cleantech Solutions International Inc (NASDAQ:CLNT)

Cleantech Solutions International Inc (NASDAQ:CLNT) gained in trade after receiving two new orders for dyeing machines worth $ 3.2 billion from new and existing customers. Cleantech Solutions International Inc (NASDAQ:CLNT) said it expects to deliver the units in February.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR)

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) has agreed to sell 27 real estate properties to a joint venture of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC for $1.5 billion. Chicago-based Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) had announced in November that it would sell some assets after agreeing to buy part of rival apartment landlord Archstone Inc. from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) added 0.8 percent in Monday trading.

Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM)

Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM) reported preliminary fourth-quarter financial data. Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM)’s revenue for full-year 2012 rose 59 percent to $89 million, which implies about $33 million in fourth quarter revenue. Analysts were expecting $29.8 million in revenue in the fourth quarter and $85.3 million for the year. But shares of Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ:SQNM) fell in trade amid investor concerns about increased competition, after Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) agreed to buy privately-held rival Verinata Health Inc. Like Sequenom Inc., Verinata Health Inc. also makes prenatal tests for Down syndrome.

Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK)

Mobile software company Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK) has secured a U.S. patent for its “Methods for Mobile Image Capture and Processing of Documents.” Shares of Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK) soared 7.7 percent to close at $3.76.

ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI), SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM)

ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI) fell 19 percent after agreeing to pay $46 million to student lender SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) to settle a lawsuit related to a loan agreement between the two. ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI) expects to record a settlement-related charge of 56 cents per share during the fourth-quarter. SLM Corp (NASDAQ:SLM) had filed the lawsuit in July 2011 alleging that ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI) owed around $26 million related to higher-than-anticipated student loan defaults stemming from the risk-sharing loan agreement signed in July 2007.

CombiMatrix Corporation (NASDAQ:CBMX)

CombiMatrix Corporation (NASDAQ:CBMX) shares jumped in trade after the molecular diagnostics company posted annual growth in some of its pre-natal testing volumes.