|16:21 EDT||UEPS, GALE, EAT, DIS, BIG, DIN, DRI, NFLX, GERN, TEVA, CAKE, LMCA||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were slightly lower after a day marked by a light flow of news and economic data. Fiscal cliff headlines continued to come out of Washington, with President Obama speaking to Bloomberg TV in his first interview since the election, though the market had a limited reaction to the President's comments... ECONOMIC EVENTS: No major economic data was released in the U.S. Internationally, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its key benchmark interest rate to 3.00% from 3.25%, as expected, and the Bank of Canada maintained its target for its overnight rate at 1%... COMPANY NEWS: Netflix (NFLX) announced a distribution agreement that gives it exclusive U.S. subscription rights to Disney (DIS) films beginning in 2016. Shares of Netflix jumped following the news, advancing $10.65, or 14.01%, to $86.65. Shares of Disney, which had been lower during much of the session, eventually pared losses to close up 1c, or 0.02%, to $49.30. Meanwhile, Liberty Media (LMCA), whose Starz unit currently holds the rights to Disney movies under a deal that expires in 2015, declined $5.42, or 4.88%, to $105.63... Darden Restaurants (DRI) warned its profit for the current quarter and the year may fall well short of analyst expectations and shares plunged following the guidance, finishing the day down $5.02, or 9.58%, to $47.40. Shares of peers in the casual restaurant industry, including Brinker (EAT), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) and DineEquity (DIN), moved lower as well... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Galena Biopharma (GALE), up 20c, or 9.80%, to $2.24 after signing a commercialization partnership for its NeuVax drug with Teva (TEVA), and Big Lots (BIG), up $3.23, or 11.52%, to $31.27 after its quarterly losses were not as steep as expected. Among the noteworthy losers was Net 1 UEPS (UEPS), which plunged $4.62, or 58.93%, to $3.22 after disclosing the DOJ and FBI are investigating the company for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Also lower were shares of Geron (GERN), down 34c, or 22.97%, to $1.14 after it discontinued development of a treatment for brain cancer, announced job cuts and said its CFO is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities... INDICES: The Dow was down 13.82, or 0.11%, to 12,951.78; the Nasdaq was down 5.51, or 0.18%, to 2,996.69; and the S&P 500 was down 2.41, or 0.17%, to 1,407.05.