Rising oil prices lift markets

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Crude oil prices rose to lift the markets to a higher close with the Dow climbing 26 points to 17,804. Nasdaq gained 16 points to 4,765.

On the upside

Recovering crude oil prices lifted shares of Swift Energy (NYSE: SFY).

Shares of Quiksilver (NYSE: ZQK) extended its gains.

Penn Virginia (Nasdaq: PVA) declared quarterly dividends on Series A and Series B convertible preferred stock.

On the downside

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OGXI) reported positive results from a Phase 2 Borealis-1 trial of its bladder cancer treatment apatorsen but the stock price fell.

RXi Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: RXII) entered an exclusive global license agreement to develop Samcyprone but the stock price fell.

Brown Shoe (NYSE: BWS) amended and extended its credit agreement.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 3 on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 gained 9 points to 2070. Bitcoin edged up a fraction to $314.

Mixed markets as investors press pause

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The markets traded mixed during the midday with the Dow slipping 9 points to 17,769 as investors pressed the pause button after two days of triple digit gains. Nasdaq rose 7 points to 4,755.

On the upside

Shares of Juno Therapeutics (Nasdaq: JUNO) surged in its market debut.

Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (Nasdaq: CUBA) extended its gains.

Aratana Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PETX) reported positive results from a pivotal study of AT-001 in treating osteoarthritis pain in dogs.

On the downside

NQ Mobile (NYSE: NQ) widened losses for the third quarter and announced plans to sell its FL Mobile business to Tack Fiori International.

Slow growth in Nike's (NYSE: NKE) global futures orders weighed down share of Foot Locker (NYSE: FL).

Investors locked in profits on Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BLCM).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 7 to 5 on the NYSE while advancers barely edged out decliners by a slim margin on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 added 2 points to 2064. Bitcoin added $2 to $316.

Higher open as oil prices rise

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The markets opened higher with the Dow rising 31 points to 17,809 as crude oil prices rose. Nasdaq gained 12 points to 4,760.

On the upside

Third quarter earnings slipped for Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) but  the results were better than expected as revenue rose.

Credit Suisse lifted its price target on Pier 1 Imports (NYSE: PIR) from $13 to $15.

CarMax (NYSE: KMX) reported higher third quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations.

On the downside

ImmunoGen (Nasdaq: IMGN) announced that development partner Roche reported disappointing Phase III MARIANNE study results for three HER2-targeted regimens to treat HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

Teekay Tankers (NYSE: TNK) priced its public offering of 20 million common shares at the discounted price of $4.80 per share.

Finish Line (Nasdaq: FINL) disappointed with third quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE and by nearly 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 added 2 points to 2063. Bitcoin eased $1 to $312.

Fed comments spark Santa Claus rally

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The Santa Claus rally came early this year with the Dow vaulting 421 points to 17,778 after the Federal Reserve indicated yesterday that rates would remain low for a considerable time. Nasdaq rocketed 104 points to 4,748.

On the upside

Wedbush Securities upgraded OvaScience (Nasdaq: OVAS) from a Neutral rating to an Outperform rating and raised its price target from $22 to $47.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) reported positive results from a Phase 3 study of its shingles vaccine HZ/su which contained Agenus' (Nasdaq: AGEN) adjuvant QS-21 Stimulon(R).

Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TTPH) reported upbeat results from a Phase 3 IGNITE 1 clinical trial of eravacycline to treat complicated intra-abdominal infection.

On the downside

The Wall Street Journal reported that RCS Capital (NYSE: RCAP) chairman Nicholas Schorsch has been sued for his role in an accounting scandal at American Realty Capital Properties (Nasdaq: ARCP).

RBC Capital Markets downgraded Mid-Con Energy Partners (Nasdaq: MCEP) from an Outperform rating to a Sector Perform rating.

Investor locked in profits on Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 jumped 48 points to 2061. Bitcoin fell $9 to $311.
Investors embraced comments made yesterday by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that interest rates would remain low for a considerable time. The markets extended its gains during the midday with the Dow rocketing 299 points to 17,656. Nasdaq leaped 85 points to 4,730.

On the upside

RBC Capital Markets upgraded Key Energy Services (NYSE: KEG) from a Sector Perform rating to an Outperform rating.

Shares of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BLCM) surged in its market debut.

The Internal Revenue Service dropped its challenge to the tax refunds that had been received by First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD).

On the downside

Comstock Resources (NYSE: CRK) suspended oil drilling activity in its Eagle Ford shale properties and postponed drilling activity in the Tuscaloosa Marine shale.

Retreating crude oil prices weighed down shares of Midstates Petroleum (NYSE: MPO) and Swift Energy (NYSE: SFY).

Second quarter earnings rose for Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) but the results fell short of analyst expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 leaped 34 points to 2047. Bitcoin lost $6 to $315.

Markets soar on Yellen's comments

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Comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that interest rates would remain low for a considerable time sent the markets soaring to a sharply higher open with the Dow leaping 239 points to 17,596. Nasdaq jumped 71 points to 4,716.

On the upside

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) reported higher third quarter earnings and revenue prompting the company to lift its full year outlook.

VimpelCom (Nasdaq: VIP) launched its Make Your Mark initiative.

Shares of Mobile Telesystems (NYSE: MBT) climbed as the ruble recovered some of its losses.

On the downside

Dunkin' Brands Group (Nasdaq: DNKN) forecast fiscal 2015 results that fell short of analyst expectations.

Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO) disappointed with lower first quarter earnings that missed estimates.

Silicon Image (Nasdaq: SIMG) warned of lower revenue in 2015 prompting a downgrade.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 6 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 soared 29 points to 2042. Bitcoin lost $8 to $312.

Markets surge as rates remain low

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The markets surged to close sharply higher with the Dow rocketing 288 points to 17,356 as the Federal Reserve indicated that interest rates would remain low for a considerable time. Nasdaq leaped 96 points to 4,644.

On the upside

Rebounding crude oil prices lifted shares of Sanchez Energy (NYSE: SN) and Swift Energy (NYSE: SFY).

Global Hunter Securities upgraded Approach Resources (Nasdaq: AREX) from a Sell rating to a Neutral rating.

Bloomberg reported that Shire (Nasdaq: SHP) was exploring a possible acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NPSP).

Rising oil prices lifted shares of oil services firm Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) and offshore drilling contractors SeaDrill (NYSE: SDRL) and Transocean (NYSE: RIG).

On the downside

New York's Gaming Facility Location Board approved Empire Resorts' (Nasdaq: NYNY) proposal to build a casino in the Catskills but the stock price fell over concerns that nationwide gambling revenue growth has slowed.

Pozen (Nasdaq: POZN) received a second complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration for its YOSPRALA 81/40 and 325/40 delayed release tablets.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 jumped 40 points to 2012. Bitcoin lost $8 to $320.

Markets extend gains as oil rebounds

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The markets extended its gains during the midday with the Dow surging 138 points to 17,207 as crude oil prices rebounded. Nasdaq climbed 35 points to 4,583.

On the upside

The possibility of normalizing relations with Cuba lifted shares of Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (Nasdaq: CUBA).

Shares of On Deck Capital (NYSE: ONDK) surged in its market debut.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Cerus' (Nasdaq: CERS) INTERCEPT Blood System for plasma.

On the downside

B/E Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV) completed the spin-off of KLX.

Coeur Mining (NYSE: CDE) will acquire Paramount Gold and Silver in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $146 million.

Ruby Tuesday (NYSE: RT) reported a drop in second quarter same-restaurant sales and same-restaurant guest count.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 soared 19 points to 1992. Bitcoin fell $10 to $318.

Higher open ahead of Fed meeting

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The markets opened higher with the Dow climbing 60 points to 17,129 ahead of the Federal Reserve's final policy meeting of the year. Nasdaq gained 17 points to 4,565.

On the upside

Philips offered a premium of approximately $1 billion to acquire Volcano (Nasdaq: VOLC).

Auspex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ASPX) reported positive results from a Phase 3 clinical trial of SD-809 for treating chorea associated with Huntington's disease.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) extended the terms of its Microsoft Operations Digial Distribution Agreement with Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV).

On the downside

Credit Suisse slashed its price target on Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) from $10 to $1.

Novogen (Nasdaq: NVGN) announced a private placement of approximately 32.85 million common shares to raise A$4.1 million.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) settled a breach of contract suit that was filed by Tutor Perini (NYSE: TPC).

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 climbed 13 points to 1986. Bitcoin lost $8 to $319.
Retreating crude oil prices along with concerns about the Russian economy sent the markets tumbling to a sharply lower close with the Dow plunging 111 points to 17,068. Nasdaq plummeted 57 points to 4,547.

On the upside

Robert W. Baird downgraded Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE) from an Outperform rating to a Neutral rating and slashed it price target from $21 to $10 but the stock price soared.

Warren Resources (Nasdaq: WRES) will ring the Nasdaq opening bell on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

Repsol's $8.3 billion acquisition of Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM) lifted shares of Oasis Petroleum (NYSE: OAS).

On the downside

Navistar International (NYSE: NAV) narrowed losses for the fourth quarter but the results fell far short of analyst expectations.

China Finance Online (Nasdaq: JRJC) launched a beta test for its Investment Advisory Service Platform but the stock price fell.

Concerns about the Russian economy weighed down shares of Mobile Telesystems (NYSE: MBT).

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 4 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 tumbled 16 points to 1972. Bitcoin lost $3 to $325.

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