Vringo, Netflix Trading Halts, Disney Buys Lucasfilm: Market Recap

Markets were mixed Wednesday on Wall Street:

S&P 500: +0.02%Nasdaq: -0.36%Dow: -0.08%Oil: +0.44%, Gold: +0.54%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $86.06 per barrel. Precious metals were up, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,721.30 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) rising to $32.25.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Wednesday’s top stock stories:The Flash Crash breeds uncertainty.

Vringo (AMEX:VRNG), currently engaged in a patent lawsuit with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), tripped over a cliff and fell about 36 percent in afternoon trading. The steep sell off followed a ruling by a federal judge that limited the amount of damages Vringo could claim, ruling that the company could not seek damages for the six years prior to filing the lawsuit.

Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) were halted after they rocketed up over 17 percent on news that Carl Icahn bought a 9.98 percent share in the company. Shares settled slightly to close at $79.24, a 13.88 percent gain. Netflix is now up over 42 percent for the month.

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In what is sure to generate a modicum of fan-based outrage, Disney (NYSE:DIS) will buy Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion. Lucas, of course, is the force behind “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” and the two franchises will be passed along with the company. Disney, for its part, has said there will be a new series of “Star Wars” movies starting in 2015. Shares of Disney closed down 1.92 percent.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) posted third-quarter 2012 earnings that came in at $0.85 per share, beating estimates by $0.25. Revenue did drop by 2.4 percent year over year to $37.6 billion, but still beat estimates by $1.9 billion. Shares closed up 9.66 percent. Read our GM earnings report.

Apparently hit with a string of bad luck, Knight Capital (NYSE:KCG), forced to run on generators because of hurricane Sandy, had a power outage on Wednesday afternoon. Shares initially took a dive as fears mounted of another technical error, but rebounded to close up 0.38 percent. Knight Capital directed clients to conduct trades elsewhere for the duration of the outage.

Generac (NYSE:GNRC), the manufacturer of power generators, closed up 20.01 percent because of demand sparked by hurricane Sandy and strong third-quarter 2012 earnings. Revenue was up 25.6 percent year over year to $300.5 million, while earnings per share came in at $0.78, beating estimates by $0.07. Highlights include a 48.3 percent jump in commercial and industrial product sales.

News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS)(NASDAQ:NWSA) will take over Australia’s Consolidated Media Holdings in a A$2 billion deal that will double the stake of the media conglomerate’s Australian arm in pay-TV operator Foxtel to 50 percent, and give it 100 percent of content provider Fox Sports. The deal increases News Corp.’s pay-TV exposure just as the company is cutting costs at its print operations.

Don’t Miss: News Corp’s Publishing Arm Gets This New Addition.