|16:35 EDT||ARAY, APKT, AAMRQ, FINL, SIMG, LCC, SVU||On The Fly: Closing Wrap|
Stocks on Wall Street finished higher on the day, with the S&P 500 closing at its highest level since December 2007. Stocks opened the session mixed after a monthly jobs report that was in-line with expectations, but gained steadily through the session, with the averages hitting their highs during the final hour of trading, with the S&P and Dow finishing just off those levels... ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Labor Department said employers added 155,000 jobs in December, which was about in-line with estimates and near the average pace of job growth over the last year. The unemployment rate for November was upwardly revised to 7.8% and the Labor Department said the 7.8% rate carried over to December as well. Factory orders were flat in November, versus expectations for them to increase 0.4%. The December ISM non-manufacturing index, which measures services sector expansion or contraction, came in at 56.1, versus expectations for a 54.1 reading. Reports from the Energy Information Administration showed inventories of crude oil and natural gas both drew down more than expected last week... COMPANY NEWS: Supervalu (SVU) spiked higher following headlines from Dow Jones that said the company was close to a deal with private equity firm Cerberus Capital, and shares finished the day up 35c, or 13.51%, to $2.94... Finish Line (FINL) reported a break-even quarter and lowered its Q4 and FY12 outlooks, disappointing the Street and prompting downgrades from at least four analyst firms. Shares of Finish Line lost $1.58, or 8.30%, to $17.46 on the day... MAJOR MOVERS: Among notable gainers were shares of Acme Packet (APKT), up $2.56, or 11.97%, to $23.94 after the stock was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus with the firm putting a $27 price target on shares. Also higher were shares of US Airways (LCC), up $1.07, or 7.83%, to $14.73 after the airline reported December traffic results and following a Wall Street Journal report last night that said AMR Corp. (AAMRQ) is close to finishing its evaluation of a proposed merger with the airline. Among the noteworthy losers were Accuray (ARAY), down $1.37, or 20.23%, to $5.41 following a downgrade to Underweight at JPMorgan after the company's negative Q2 pre-announcement. Also lower were shares of Silicon Image (SIMG), down 56c, or 10.85%, to $4.60 after the company cut its Q4 revenue view to $59M-$60M from $64M-$67M... INDICES: The Dow was up 43.85, or 0.33%, to 13,435.21; the Nasdaq was up 1.09, or 0.04%, to 3,101.66; the S&P 500 was up 7.10, or 0.49%, to 1,466.47.