|12:27 EDT||ARRS, ICE, MDRX, RAD, ORCL, NYX, FOLD, GOOG, ELOQ, KMX||On The Fly: Midday Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday, as investors appear to be in a holding pattern until more clarity on the fiscal cliff emerges. A number of domestic economic reports were released throughout the morning, including weekly jobless claims data, the leading economic indicators, and the final revision to third quarter GDP, but market participants remain fixated on the cliff negotiations in Washington, leaving the averages to drift... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., weekly jobless claims rose 17,000 to 361,000, versus expectations for a climb to 360,000. Third-quarter GDP growth was revised up to 3.1% from the prior 2.7% estimate, beating expectations for a more modest upward revision to 2.8%. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing survey for December had a reading of +8.1, versus the expected -3.0. The index of U.S. leading indicators fell 0.2% in November, which matched the consensus forecast. Existing home sales were up 5.9% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04M units in November, beating expectations. A separate report said home prices edged up 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October, which was also more than expected. In Asia, the Bank of Japan expanded its asset-purchase program by Y10T, or over 10%, to Y101T... COMPANY NEWS: Acquisitions in the financial and tech industries sent two stocks up over 30%. IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) agreed to acquire NYSE Euronext (NYX) in a stock-and-cash transaction currently valued at $33.12, sending shares of NYSE up 33% to $32.01 and IntercontinentalExchange shares down fractionally. Also, Oracle (ORCL) struck a deal to buy Eloqua (ELOQ), a provider of cloud-based software, for $23.50 per share, sending Eloqua's stock up 31% to $23.51... Google (GOOG) agreed to sell its Motorola Home Business for $2.35B in cash and stock to ARRIS Group (ARRS). Google shares moved fractionally higher, while ARRIS' stock jumped nearly 5%... MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers were Rite Aid (RAD), up over 15%, and CarMax (KMX), up nearly 9%, following their quarterly reports. Among the noteworthy losers was Amicus Theraputics (FOLD), down about 45% after Leerink cut its price target on shares and Capstone downgraded the stock following the failure of its study of a therapy for Fabry disease. Also lower were shares of Allscripts (MDRX), which fell almost 14% after its evaluation of strategic alternatives ended without a sale and its CEO stepped down... INDICES: Near noon, the Dow was down 15.36, or 0.12%, to 13,236.61; the Nasdaq was down 4.53, or 0.15%, to 3,039.83; and the S&P 500 was up 0.31, or 0.02%, to 1,436.12.