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Stocks Close Mixed Amid Fiscal-Cliff Jitters

The European markets turned higher Friday after the jobs report. The FTSE 100 in London closed up 0.22% and the DAX in Germany settled lower by 0.22%. Earlier, the benchmark indices were trading in the red as the German Bundesbank lowered its 2013 economic growth outlook for the country as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis persists, and as the Italian 10-year government bond ticked up in the face of political uncertainties.

Ahead of the nonfarm payrolls release, Japan's Nikkei average closed down 0.19% on Friday and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished off by 0.26%.

In Japan, tsunami fears were sparked by a 7.3-magnitude quake that struck off the country's eastern coast.

Gold for February delivery rose $3.70 to settle at $1,705.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts lost 33 cents to close at $85.93 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 12/32 to raise the yield to 1.630%. The dollar was up 0.21%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings and his company received a Wells Notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission for a social network post. Shares lost 0.22%.

The controversial chief of the DVD-rental and streaming-media company received a Wells Notice for a Facebook (FB) post that claims Hastings violated the fair-disclosure clause.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Get Report) said Thursday it swung to a fiscal first-quarter loss of $3.5 million, or 5 cents a share. Adjusted profit in the quarter was 4 cents a share, topping analysts' estimates by a penny as revenue jumped 50% to $85.9 million. Shares were effectively flat at $51.31.

Smith & Wesson (SWHC) swung to a profit of $21.1 million, or 31 cents a share, in the fiscal second quarter. The board of the gun maker approved $20 million in stock buybacks. Shares slipped 8.6%.

Amarin (AMRN) announced Thursday plans to raise $100 million in debt financing and the intention to hire 250 to 300 sales representatives, in a go-it-alone launch strategy for lipid-lowering prescription fish-oil pill Vascepa.

The announcement disappointed investors who were hoping for a marketing partnership. Shares plunged 18.9%.

McGraw-Hill (MHP) shares popped 4.2% after the company announced a special dividend of $2.50 a share on its common stock, payable on Dec. 27.

-- Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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