Increased optimism among Americans about job prospects is reflected in consumer sentiment, which hit an eight month high in January even as the trade gap widened. The improving economic data helped send Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) to fresh 52 week highs. Macy’s shares, having been traded in a 52-week range of $21.69 to $35.21, closed at $34.42, down $0.62 or 1.77% on the day.
FBR lifted its price target for Nuance Communication (NASDAQ:NUAN) to $33 from $28, causing shares to edge higher. FBR saw Nuance had healthy deal activity in calendar Q4, and says it has a strong pipeline for FY12 (ends in September). Additionally FBR believes the voice recognition software provider is in the early stages of a major growth opportunity.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary Inta Acquisition Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) initiated a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of common stock of Inhibitex (NASDAQ:INHX), having announced on Saturday, January 7, 2012 its intent to acquire Inhibitex. When the tender offer is successfully closed, Inhibitex stockholders will receive $26.00 in cash for each share of Inhibitex common stock valid tendered and not validly withdrawn in the offer, without interest and less any required withholding taxes. Inhibitex will become a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb following the purchase of shares in the tender offer. INHX shares have traded in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $24.58. Shares closed at $24.55, down $0.02 or 0.08% on the day.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Investors continue bidding up the stock in anticipation of a good quarter. Shares have traded in a 52-week range of $20.10 to $28.94, and closed at $29.03, up $0.29 or 1.01% on the day. Investing Insights: US Bancorp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek.
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