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.

Mixed open as ruble collapses

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The markets opened mixed with the Dow rising 26 points to 17,207 while Nasdaq lost 15 points to 4,589 as the ruble collapsed.

On the upside

Repsol offered a premium of approximately $8.3 billion in cash to acquire Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM).

Novogen (Nasdaq: NVGN) announced that its TRXE-009 has been highly effective against melanoma in pre-clinical studies.

Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP) will work with its wholesale partners to reduce inventories.

On the downside

Share of Yandex (Nasdaq: YNDX) tumbled as the value of the ruble plunged.

Frontline (NYSE: FRO) entered debt-for-equity exchange.

The Data and Safety Monitoring Board determined that Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: CYCC) ongoing Phase 3 study of sapacitabine was not likely to statistically significant improvement in survival.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of 5 to 4 on the NYSE and by nearly 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 eased a point to 1987. Bitcoin fell $11 to $331.

Flat open as oil continues slide

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The markets opened flat with the Dow holding steady at 17,280 despite a gain in factory production as crude oil prices continued to slide. Nasdaq eased a fraction to 4,652.

On the upside

Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM) confirmed that engaged in discussions with Repsol for a possible transaction.

Barclays upgraded Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) from an Underweight rating to an Overweight rating and lifted its price target from $18 to $28.

Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) will be taken private by Thoma Bravo and a Canadian teacher pension fund for approximately $3.6 billion.

On the downside

Sophiris Bio (Nasdaq: SPHS) reported that an efficacy threshold was not achieved in an ongoing Phase 3 "PLUS-1" trial of PRX302 to treat lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Investors continued to lock in profits on Momo (Nasdaq: MOMO).

Shares of Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE) extended its losses as crude oil prices continued to slide.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 2 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 rose 6 points to 2009. Bitcoin added $3 to $345.
The continued decline of crude oil prices along with concerns about the Chinese economy sent the markets plunging to a sharply lower close with the Dow collapsing 315 points to 17,280. Nasdaq plummeted 54 points to 4,653.

On the upside

Oncothyreon (Nasdaq: ONTY) reported positive preliminary data from two ongoing Phase 1b studies of ONT-380 to treat metastatic breast cancer.

China HGS Real Estate (Nasdaq: HGSH) reported sharply higher full year earnings and revenue.

Shares of Calithera Biosciences (Nasdaq: CALA) continued to soar.

On the downside

Shares of Midstates Petroleum (NYSE: MPO) continued falling.

Esterline Technologies (NYSE: ESL) fell to a loss for the fourth quarter.

Heritage-Crystal Clean (Nasdaq: HCCI) priced its public offering of 3.1 million share of common stock at the discounted price of $10 per share.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 plunged 33 points to 2002. Bitcoin rose $7 to $351.
The markets extended its losses during the midday with the Dow plummeting 165 points to 17,430 as factory growth slowed in China. Nasdaq lost 5 points to 4,702.

On the upside

Shares of Hortonworks (Nasdaq: HDP) surged in its market debut.

New Relic (NYSE: NEWR) stock soared on its first trading day.

Quicksilver (NYSE: ZQK) narrowed losses for the fourth quarter.

On the downside

Adobe's (Nasdaq: ADBE) acquisition of royalty-free stock photography company Fotolia sent shares of Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK) plummeting.

Falling crude oil prices weighed down shares of Key Energy Services (NYSE: KEG).

Shares of Eagle Rock Energy Partners (Nasdaq: EROC) fell as crude oil prices continued to retreat.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of nearly 7 to 3 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 fell 11 points to 2023. Bitcoin rose $7 to $352.
Crude oil prices continued to drop sending the markets tumbling to a sharply lower open with the Dow plunging 113 points to 17,483. Nasdaq lost 10 points to 4,697.

On the upside

ChemoCentryx (Nasdaq: CCXI) reported positive results from a Phase II clinical trial in diabetic nephropathy with CCX140.

Repsol engaged in negotiations to acquire Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM).

Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) reported higher third quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst estimates and announced plans to buy privately held Fotolia.

On the downside

The Wall Street Journal reported that Caesars Entertainment (Nasdaq: CZR) reached a tentative debt restructuring agreement with senior bond holders for its Caesars Entertainment Operating unit.

Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN) extended its losses.

Windstream Holdings (Nasdaq: WIN) named Tony Thomas to the position of chief executive officer.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 5 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 lost 7 points to 2028. Bitcoin rose $5 to $350.
Despite a drop in crude oil prices to its lowest level in five years, the markets closed higher with the Dow gaining 63 points to 17,596 on upbeat retail sales. Nasdaq climbed 24 points to 4,708.

On the upside

The Advisory Board (Nasdaq: ABCO) will pay approximately $850 million in cash and stock to buy Royall & Co.

Shares of Calithera Biosciences (Nasdaq: CALA) continued to soar.

Women's Health USA selected athenahealth (NYSE: ATHN) to support its providers.

On the downside

Shares of Breitburn Energy Partners (Nasdaq: BBEP) and Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) fell as crude oil prices settled below $60 a barrel for the first time in five years.

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) resumed copper processing at its Arizona facility but the stock price fell.

MEI Pharma (Nasdaq: MEIP) will offer up to $45 million worth of common stock through a public offering.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 7 to 5 on the NYSE and by nearly 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 rose 9 points to 2035. Bitcoin held steady at $344.

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