Market Wrap: ECB European Concerns Calm; Diamond in Hot Water; Jobless Rise Once Again; Short-Seller Changes Tune

January 12, 2012 6:05 PM EST
Market wrap-up for January 12th

End of the Day: Dow Jones up 21.6 to 12,471.02; Nasdaq up 13.9 to 2,724.70; S&P 500 up 3.0 to 1,295.50.

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • Draghi gains confidence. Repeat: gains confidence: The European Central Bank (ECB) decided to leave its key interest rate at 1 percent today, as President Mario Draghi expressed a slightly more upbeat view during a press conference and statement today. For more on that, click here.

  • Their (wal)nuts are really in a vice grip: Late in the session, Diamond Foods (Nasdaq: DMND) took a hit following reports federal prosecutors have opened a case against the company. Specifically, investigations will be made into recent headlines with walnut growers. For more color, click here.

  • Retail euphoria wears thin: Initial jobless claims rose for the week, by 24,000 to 399,000. The number outpaced the 375,000 expected on the Street, and was up from a revised 375,000 for the prior period.

    Additionally economic data show that retail sales rose just 0.1 percent in December, compared with the 0.3 percent expected.

  • Big M&A for big firm: Late Wednesday, Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) said it entered into a stock purchase agreement to sell Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. and related affiliates, to Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) for $930 million.

  • What happens when a short goes long? Does an angel get its wings?: Notable short-seller Muddy Water's Carson Block is changing his tune, and just today said he may go long U.S.-listed Chinese stocks now. For more on that (w/ video!), click here.
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Initial Jobless Claims, Raymond James, Standard & Poor's, Morgan Keegan & Company, European Central Bank