"In the short term, we may see a bit of a bounce in the markets as companies beat an already lowered bar. However, analysts are still predicting double digit earnings growth for 2013 which doesn't seem plausible to us given that sales growth is slowing and costs are beginning to rise," said Michael Simmons, managing director and partner at HighTower. "Combined with the uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff, we expect that guidance for the fourth quarter and beyond to be weak, which will lead to a further ratcheting down in analyst estimates."
The U.S. economic calendar was empty Monday.
In corporate news, shares of Green Dot (GDOT), a prepaid card provider whose business greatly depends on Wal-Mart (WMT) customers, plunged 20.3% after Wal-Mart announced its Bluebird payment and money management partnership with American Express (AXP).
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX), the electronic health-records firm that is mulling a leveraged buyout, has received first-round bids from a number of private equity firms including Blackstone Group (BX ), Carlyle Group (CG ) and Silver Lake Management, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Shares of Allscripts popped 3.9%.TPC Group ( TPCG ) shares climbed 12.8% after the petrochemical products producer was offered to be bought by specialty chemicals company Innospec ( IOSP ) for $44 to $46 in cash. TPC had earlier agreed to be purchased by First Reserve and S.K. Capital Partners for $40 a share and thinks that they will sweeten their offer after Innospec's proposal. Facebook (FB) plans to cut the $3 billion credit line it received before its May initial public offering to $1.5 billion, since the company won't be needing as much money now to pay for tax liabilities relating to the vesting of employee stock, given the steep decline in its share prices since the company's IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal. The stock was downgraded to sell at BTIG Monday with analyst Richard Greenfield saying that "we see a growing tension between the Facebook user experience and monetization." Facebook shares closed down 2.3%. Affymetrix ( AFFX ) shares dove more than 15% after the life science company gave a third-quarter revenue forecast that missed Wall Street expectations, as weaker academic funding conditions hurt its gene expression and eBioscience businesses.
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