Everything Slow But Rare Earth (GOOG, APC, BHP, FMCN, VISN, REE, KOOL)
Stocks nudged down on the day despite some positive weekly jobless claims data. Unless a company is sitting on a pile of undeveloped rare earth metals, then the market action has been pretty slow the past week or so. While the market appears set to exit 2010 quietly, we’re not going complain given the year’s and month’s solid gains.
The Rare Earth Stocks Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Rare Element Resources (REE) with a 13% gain. The Stem Cell Stocks Index was the day’s worst performing tickerspy Index, with Thermogenesis (KOOL) down -6%.
Stocks edged lower on the day, with the Dow dipping -16 points to 11,570. The S&P gave back -2 points to 1,258, while the Nasdaq fell -4 points to 2,663. Oil fell -$1.28 to $89.84 a barrel, while gold slipped -$7.60 to $1,405.90 an ounce.
On the economic front, the Labor Department said that jobless claims fell by -34,000 last week to 388,000, the lowest level since July 2008. Economists had predicted a drop to 415,000 from the prior week’s upwardly revised figure of 422,000. Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors announced that its pending home sales index rose to 92.2 last month, up from a revised reading of 89.1 in October.
The New York Times has reported that online coupon provider Groupon has filed with the state of Delaware to raise up to $950 million in equity financing with the goal of going public by the end of 2011. The company plans to sell its common shares for $31.59 each, which would value it at between $6.4-$7.8 billion. Groupon was previously in talks with Google (GOOG) to sell itself for up to $6 billion.
Shares of oil driller Anadarko Petroleum (APC) rose 6.9% on new rumors that BHP Billiton (BHP) intends to make a bid for the company. It is speculated that BHP has offered $90 per share for Anadarko, which owns 25% of the Macondo well that ruptured during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BHP’s stock drifted 0.1% higher on the news. Over seventy Pros held Anadarko Petroleum in their top-15 U.S.-listed equity positions at the end of Q3, and 573 tickerspy members hold the stock in their portfolios.
China’s largest digital media company Focus Media Holding (FMCN) has reported that it will purchase a 15% stake in VisionChina Media (VISN), a company that runs advertising on buses and subways. FocusMedia will pay $61 million, or $3.98 for each VisionChina American depositary receipt (ADR), representing a premium of 2.8% over VisionChina’s closing price yesterday. The deal is expected to close next month. Shares of VisionChina spiked 20.7% on the news, while Focus Media’s stock increased 4.7%.
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