The markets opened mixed with the Dow rising 41 points to 13,006 while Nasdaq slipped 4 points to 2997 as lawmakers deadlocked on proposals to avert the fiscal cliff. On the upside
Galena Biopharma (Nasdaq: GALE) signed an agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals to commercialize the breast cancer treatment NeuVax in Israel. Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) fell to a loss for the third quarter but the results were better than expected and the discount retailer lifted its full year outlook. Telefonica selected Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) 7950 XRS core router to upgrade its Internet protocol networks in Argentina and the Czech Republic. On the downside Reuters reported that Sprint (NYSE: S) would probably not make a counteroffer to acquire MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS). Geron (Nasdaq: GERN) ended development of its brain cancer treatment GRN1005 and will eliminate 43 jobs. Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) forecast current quarter earnings well below analyst expectations. In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 10 to 9 on the NYSE while advancers were on par with decliners on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks held steady at 820.