Ultimate Market Recap: Groupon’s Low Float, Greece’s Big Vote

Friday Morning’s Top Stories

G20 leaders are considering an International Monetary Fund mandate to print special currency to help with the euro-zone crisis. Called Special Drawing Rights, this “currency” is an IOU that can be used in exchange for cash. This option could help assure investors that countries have a pool of cash reserves for an emergency.

U.S. unemployment dropped to a six month low after the economy added 80,000 jobs. Previous months rates were also revised upward, making the report an overall positive one in relative terms.

Investing Insights: The Growing Need for Precious Metals as Insurance.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a late evening parliament vote on his future and his referendum plan. On Thursday, Papandreou said he would be consider resignation but now he appears to have a change of heart. If his government does win the vote, there’s still speculation that his days are numbered.

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Nikon Corp. (NINOY) is feeling the effects of the Thailand floods and could greatly take a hit on the company’s fiscal year earnings ending in March. The company said the floods have brought its output in central Thailand to a halt and it sees a YEN65 billion revenue and YEN25 billion operating profit decline. Nikon hopes to resume some operations in the area by January.

The European Union’s antitrust until is further investigating Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) $21.3 billion bid for Synthes Inc. The  ”second-phase in-depth probe” will review concerns that the proposed deal could limit competition in a “concentrated market.”  The anti-competitive unit has until March to make the decision.

American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) reported a wider than expected third quarter earnings loss of $4.1 billion ($2.16 per share), as compared to a $2.52 billion ($18.53 per share) loss from the previous year. The company’s operating loss was $3.04 billion ($1.60 per share), an increase from the $114 million loss ($0.84 cents) from the previous year. Analysts’ estimates had been a $0.22 cents per share loss. Dig Deeper: American International Group Inc Earnings Cheat Sheet: Two Straight Quarters of Profit Broken by a Loss.

Friday Morning Hot Stocks

Shares of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) are down 15% in early trading.  The company announced that revenues decreased 6.8% in the third quarter, and plans to keep cutting costs over the next few quarters.  Competitor Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are edging higher on the news.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) is climbing more than 3% before the opening bell.  Late Thursday, the company reported its results for the fourth quarter.  Net income for the specialty eatery rose to $358.5 million (47 cents per share), compared to $278.9 million (37 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 28.5% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 6.8% to $3.03 billion from the year earlier.  Competitors include: McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), Green Mountain Coffee (NASDAQ:GMCR), and Peet’s Coffee & Tea (NASDAQ:PEET).

Investing Insights: Starbucks Corp Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profits Grow by Double Digits For Fifth Straight Quarter.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is edging down nearly 1% early Friday.  The company just announced plans to offer streaming channels on YouTube, and is now thinking about launching a full pay TV service in areas where it’s built out residential fiber networks.  Competitors include: Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP) announced plans to combine its S&P Indices business with CME Group’s (NASDAQ:CME) Dow Jones Indexes.  McGraw-Hill will own 73% of S&P/Dow Jones Indices, while CME Group will own 24.4% through its affiliates.

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American International Group (NYSE:AIG) is falling more than 4% at the open after reporting a third quarter loss of $4.1 billion ($2.16 per share), compared to a loss of $2.5 billion ($18.53 per share) last year.  Other financial giants to keep an eye on include: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). Dig Deeper: American International Group Inc Earnings Cheat Sheet: Two Straight Quarters of Profit Broken by a Loss.

Friday Afternoon’s Trending Stocks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading lower 100 points and the S&P 500 Index is trading at 1,250 today. Here are the hottest stocks on Wall Street today:

  1. Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN): Shares of Groupon Inc. are trading higher 41% today. Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in 43 countries, and soon beyond. The company has about 7,000 employees working across its Chicago headquarters, a growing office in Palo Alto, CA, local markets throughout North America and regional offices in Europe, Latin America, Asia and around the world. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  2. Inhibitex, Inc. (NASDAQ:INHX): Shares of Inhibitex, Inc. are trading higher 123% today. Inhibitex Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes novel antibody-based products. The Company develops products for the prevention and treatment of serious bacterial and fungal infections in the hospital setting. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  3. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX): Shares of Starbucks Corporation are trading higher 6.8% today. Starbucks Corporation retails, roasts, and provides its own brand of specialty coffee. The Company operates retail locations worldwide and sells whole bean coffees through its sales group, direct response business, supermarkets, and on the World Wide Web. Starbucks also produces and sells bottled coffee drinks and a line of ice creams.Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  4. Solar Capital Ltd. (NASDAQ:SLRC): Shares of Solar Capital Ltd. are trading higher 7.2% today. Solar Capital Ltd. is an an externally managed finance company. The Company’s investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. Solar invests primarily in leveraged companies, including middle-market companies, in the form of senior secured loans, mezzanine loans and equity securities. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  5. Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF): Shares of Jefferies Group, Inc. are trading lower .33% today. Jefferies Group, Inc. is an independent, full-service global securities and investment banking firm. The Company provides clients with capital markets and financial advisory services, including M&A and restructuring, as well as institutional brokerage in equity, equity-linked, high yield and other fixed income securities, along with fundamental research and asset management. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  6. Medivation, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDVN): Shares of Medivation, Inc. are trading higher 5% today. Medivation Inc. acquires, develops, and sells or partners biomedical technologies in the early development stage of the research and development process. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  7. Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD): Shares of Linkedin Corporation are trading lower 6.5% today. LinkedIn Corporation operates a social networking website used for professional networking. The Company’s website allows members to post a profile of their professional expertise and accomplishments. LinkedIn allows members to be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  8. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF): Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. are trading lower 2.2% today. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is a specialty retailer that operates stores selling casual apparel, such as knit shirts, graphic t-shirts, jeans, woven shirts and personal care and other accessories for men, women and kids. The Company operates stores in the United States and Canada as well as retails its products over the Internet. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  9. Openwave Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:OPWV): Shares of Openwave Systems Inc. are trading higher 10% today. Openwave Systems Inc. provides open Internet-based communication infrastructure software and applications. The Company’s customers are wireless network operators, wireline carriers, Internet service providers, and broadband network providers. Openwave offers wireless Internet infrastructure and browsers, unified messaging, mobile email, directory service, and voice processing. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  10. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK): Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corporation are trading lower 6.27% today. Chesapeake Energy Corporation produces oil and natural gas. The Company’s operations are focused on discovering, developing and acquiring conventional and unconventional natural gas reserves onshore in the United States. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Market Recap

Markets closed down on Wall Street today: Dow -0.51%, S&P -0.63%, Nasdaq -0.44%, Oil +0.44%, Gold -0.41%.On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) climbed to $94.48 a barrel. Precious metals were down, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1,757.90 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 1.04% to settle at $34.14.

Hot Feature: G-20 Urges EU to End Crisis, Threat to Global Economy

Today’s markets were down because:

1) G-20. Global stocks moved downward today after the Group of 20 nations failed to agree on increasing the resources of the International Monetary Fund, a move that European governments had hoped would allow them to tap more foreign aid to help in crisis-fighting efforts.

2) Jobs. Though U.S. employment rose less than expected in October, when coupled with upward revisions to prior months’ job gains, it was enough to effect a drop in the unemployment rate, which last month reached a six-month low of 9.0%. Today’s Labor Department report suggests that the economy is gaining momentum, and that there is underlying strength in the labor market. However, Europe’s debt crisis still threatens to derail the recovery, riling global financial markets and pushing consumer confidence to recessionary levels. Furthermore, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its projections for unemployment in 2012.

3) Banks. Following a tumble in European lenders, American banks slumped. Even as the indexes slowly recovered after a sharp drop early in the day, banks stayed lower. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) saw its share price fall more than 6% after disclosing that it would convert debt into more equity. Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) also fell.

After Hours Radar Stocks

After pricing at $20 per share, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) closed 30% higher, and continues to climb another 1.3% in late market trading.  Shares hit a high today of $31.14.  Many analyst remain skeptical of the company and its questionable long-term value.  Other recent tech IPOs include LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Zillow (NASDAQ:Z), and Pandora (NYSE:P).

Dig Deeper: Groupon Analyst Cheat Sheet.

After falling nearly 6% on Friday, shares of LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) are edging higher after the close.  The company recently reported a third quarter loss of $1.6 million (2 cents per share).  The company also plans to offer $100 million of shares, in order to increase its working capital for product development and other expenses. Don’t Miss: Is LinkedIn Just a Wanna Be Momo Stock?

Shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc (NYSE:OWW) are flying more than 8% higher after reporting strong earnings.  The company saw its third quarter revenue rise 4% year over year to $202.9 million and earned a $0.15 earnings per share. This beat analysts estimates by $4.6 million and $0.09, respectively.  Shares of Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) are also edging higher.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) traded on heavy volume Friday.  Both stocks are considered defensive plays given their respective industry and dividend payout.  Duke Energy operates as an energy company in the Americas, while Eli Lilly develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide.