Markets Close Mixed on Light Trading Day

Initial enthusiasm about high consumer confidence in December gave way to profit-takers. The Dow closed the session down 2 points to 12,291. Nasdaq held on to its gain rising 6 points to 2625.

On the upside

Endeavor International (NYSE: END) announced plans to acquire three North Sea fields from ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) for $330 million.

Shares of Scientific Games (Nasdaq: SGMS) surged on hopes that a U.S. Department of Justice opinion may open the way for more online gambling opportunities.

Shares of Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) continued to rise in hopes of a possible takeover of the marker of the still-popular Blackberry smartphone.

Shares of Parlux Fagrances (Nasdaq: PARL) nearly doubled after it agreed to be acquired by Perfumania (Nasdaq: PERF) in a stock and cash deal valued at $170 million.

On the downside

Shares of Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) continued to lag after recent news of baby formula being pulled from its shelves despite reports that no infection-causing bacteria was found.

Gold prices rose sharply, but shares of Novagold Resources (AMEX: NG) bucked the trend.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 10 to 9 on the NYSE while decliners narrowly edged out advancers on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose 3 points to close at 751.

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