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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 13/11/2012

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U.S. stocks ended virtually flat overnight after a seesawing day. In Asia, Japan
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) U.S. stocks opened higher overnight before being sold off in morning trade, with buyers coming back in the afternoon to finish off a seesawing day on the markets.

The markets were flat as sentiment that the "fiscal cliff" standoff in Washington will be resolved before automatic spending cuts and tax hikes begin in January.

Lawmakers have less than two weeks worth of scheduled work days to strike a deal that prevents the onset of 7 trillion of spending cuts and tax increases in January.

By the close the Dow was unchanged at 12,815 points, while the NASDAQ eased just one point to 2904.

There was no major U.S. economic news released on Monday, while in Asia, Japan's economy contracted at an annual rate of 3.5% in the latest quarter, sparking concerns of a sustained regional slowdown.

U.S. Corporate News

In corporate news, homebuilders were in focus Monday as both D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) and rival Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH) posting quarterly earnings.

D.R. Horton said fourth-quarter earnings nearly tripled to 100.1 million, while Beazer Homes reported a wider fiscal fourth-quarter net loss on a stronger-than-expected 11% increase in revenue. Atlanta-headquartered Beazer operates in 16 U.S. states.

Diversified holding company Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE:LUK) Monday agreed a 2.76 billion merger with investment bank Jefferies Inc. (NYSE:JEF). Investors will receive 0.81 Leucadia share for each Jefferies share they own, the companies said in a statement.

Titanium Metals (NYSE:TIE) is being bought by Precision Castparts (NYSE:PCP) in a deal worth about 2.9 billion or 16.50 per share, a 43% premium over Titanium's Friday closing price of 11.57.

Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:CLVS) saw its shares plunge over 30% Monday, after it announced it is cancelling development of its CO-101 chemotherapy drug for pancreatic cancer.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) shares gained after the consumer electronics retailer said former Williams-Sonoma exec Sharon McCollam will become its new CFO in December.


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