Market Overview

End-of-Day Market Summary for December 20, 2011

This is your Benzinga news summary for Tuesday, December 20, 2011, covering headlines from Tuesday's daytime trading session.

Today at market close, the Dow Jones Index traded up about 337.17 points or 2.87%, the S&P 500 traded 2.98% higher, the Nasdaq Composite Index traded up 3.19%, and the U.S. dollar trades lower near the $80.25 level.

Earlier today, RBC Capital upgraded MICROS Systems (NASDAQ: MCRS) to Top Pick and Standpoint upgraded Perry Ellis (NASDAQ: PERY) to Buy. View all of today's upgrades here.

Bank of America downgraded Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) to Neutral and CLSA downgraded Schnitzer Steel (NASDAQ: SCHN) to Underperform. View all of today's downgrades here.

Overseas, European markets ended their trading session higher. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 1.02%, Germany's DAX increased by 3.11% and France's CAC 40 rallied by 2.73% on the session. Asian stocks ended their session mixed. China's Shanghai Index tumbled by 0.12%, Japan's Nikkei 225 increased by 0.49%, and the Hang Seng index gained 0.06%.

On the economic calendar, Housing Starts came in at 685K versus an estimate of 635K; Building Permits came in at 681K versus an estimate of 635K. On the commodity front, gold and silver futures traded lower today, with gold trading about 0.1% lower today. Energy futures are higher, however, with crude oil up over 3.5% near the $97.40 level and gasoline futures are trading higher by about 3.7%. Natural Gas futures are higher by about 1.3% and copper futures are trading over 0.2% higher.

Today's earnings announcements include Nike Reports Q2 EPS $1.00 vs $0.97 Est; Revenues $5.73B vs $5.63B Est; Oracle Reports Q2 EPS $0.54 vs $0.57 Est; Revenues $8.8B vs $9.23B Est; Cintas Reports Q2 EPS $0.57 vs $0.48 Est; Revenues $1.019B vs $1.00B Est.

In corporate news, Nortek (NASDAQ: NTK) announced that Michael Clarke will join the company as President and CEO, effective December 30, 2011.

Santarus (NASDAQ: SNTS) announced that it has applied for a new drug, Uceris. Uceris will be used to treat ulcerative colitis.

CR Bard (NYSE: BCR) announced that it will acquire Lutonix for $225 million. The purchase is for strategic purchases.

Today's Movers include:

Cobalt International Energy (NYSE: CIE) +37.2% after a large contract with African company

Jefferies (NYSE: JEF) +23.4% on positive earnings

Prestige Brand Holdings (NYSE: PBH) +19.9% after signing agreement to buy 17 over-the-counter brands

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) -8.3% on poor guidance

Inter Parfums (NASDAQ: IPAR) -7.3% on heavy volume

Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) -7.4% on AT&T, T-Mobile merger break-up

This concludes your news summary for December 20, 2011.

Posted-In: News Broad U.S. Equity ETFs Upgrades Downgrades Events Global Econ #s Economics Best of Benzinga

 

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