After Market: Priceline Rises, Groupon Falls as Stocks Take a Little Discount

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Stocks ended slightly lower on Friday, but shares of the deal site Groupon are now available at a big discount. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 30 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) edged 4 points lower, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) slipped 3.

Priceline (PCLN) was a big winner, up 2½ percent. It posted solid earnings and sales last quarter, led by strong hotel bookings. The stock has nearly doubled over the past year. And take a look at the price: it trades for well over $1,300 a share, making it one of the market's priciest stocks.

But Groupon (GRPN) was a big loser. The daily deals site is known for offering big discounts on restaurants and shopping, but now, it's stock is selling at a big discount after sliding 22 percent. Investors were disappointing by its forecast of a loss in the current quarter due to rising expenses. RBC Capital lowered its rating on the stock to "underperform."

Despite a big drop in sales of existing homes last month, homebuilders moved higher. Toll Brothers (TOL) gained 2 percent, while Lennar (LEN) and D.R. Horton (DHI) added more than 1 percent.

Biotechs were strong. Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) jumped 15 percent after reporting positive test results for its treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy in children. Its partner for the drug, Biogen (BIIB), gained 3½ percent.

In merger news: Barnes & Noble (BKS) rose 5½ percent as an investment firm upped its offer for a majority stake in the book chain. Elsewhere, shares of senior living facility operator Emeritus (ESC) jumped 35 percent after it agreed to be acquired. And Safeway (SWY) rose another 4 percent. Shares of the supermarket chain have been advancing throughout the week on news it may put itself up for sale.

As for earnings, tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) fell more than 1 percent, even though net topped expectations. Newmont Mining (NEM) fell more than 4 percent after posting a loss, as the price of gold tumbled last year. But the tax software firm Intuit (INTU) rose 4½ percent.

Finally, Under Armour (UA) gained 5 percent. It renewed its partnership with U.S. Speedskating despite the concerns this week that its new Olympic suits may have slowed down American skaters.

What to watch Monday:
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas releases its survey of regional manufacturing activity for February at 10:30 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • HSBC Holdings (HSBC)
  • Tenet Healthcare (THC)
  • Vornado Realty Trust (VNO)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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