|16:28 EDT||YUM, NTLS, BX, ZNGA, VRSN, FIVE, MDRX, FB, S, CBK||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street spent most of the day in negative territory as negotiations to avert automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that are set to kick in at year's end continued to dominate the headlines and determine the market's direction. The averages opened higher, but crossed into negative territory early in the session and moved in a fairly narrow range just below the flat line for most of the trading day. However, some index rebalancing drove a run-up just before the closing bell and the major index all finished just about where they started... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., consumer spending fell 0.2% in October, versus expectations for a flat reading. Incomes were unchanged last month, versus expectations of a 0.2% gain. The Chicago PMI reading for November came in at 50.4, about in-line with forecasts for a 50.5 reading and indicating expansion after being below 50 last month. In Europe, German lawmakers approved the new aid deal struck for Greece... COMPANY NEWS: Facebook (FB) and Zynga (ZNGA) disclosed that they have changed the terms of their partnership. Under the new agreement, Facebook will be able to develop its own games and Zynga will not have to use Facebook ad units or payments on its outside sites. Shares of Zynga (ZNGA) opened sharply lower after the news, which broke after yesterday's close, but recouped some losses to close down 16c, or 6.11%, to $2.46 on the day... Yum! Brands (YUM) provided guidance after yesterday's close that indicated slowing sales in China, sparking downgrades from at least firms. Shares of Yum! traded down $7.39, or 9.92%, to $67.08... A mid-afternoon report from Reuters said that Blackstone (BX) was in the lead to buy Allscripts (MDRX), though concerns over the valuation of Allscripts cast doubt on the transaction getting completed. Shares of Allscripts fell $1.30, or 10.47%, to $11.12 after the report... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Christoper & Banks (CBK), up 90c, or 24.52%, to $4.57 and Five Below (FIVE), up $5.76, or 18.35%, to $37.15 after their quarterly reports came in above the Street's expectations. Among the noteworthy losers was NTELOS (NTLS), down $3.27, or 20.22%, to $12.90, after FBR Capital dropped its price target on the stock to $5 from $15 on its belief that the company's strategic agreement with Sprint (S) would not be renewed at year's end. Also lower were shares of VeriSign (VRSN), down $5.21, or 13.24%, to $34.13 after it announced a revised .com agreement that limits its ability to increase prices on domain names... INDICES: The Dow was up 3.76, or 0.03%, to 13,025.58; the Nasdaq was down 1.79, or 0.06%, to 3,010.24; and the S&P 500 was up 0.23, or 0.02%, to 1,416.18.