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Markets Are Looking To Bounce Back Following Yesterday's Decline On Fed Worries

LONDON, February 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

NetSpend Holdings, Inc., the alternative financial service solutions company, was the biggest gainer in the Nasdaq yesterday. The stock gained $3.52 to $15.81 after global financial services provider Total System Services Inc. (TSS) announced its pact to acquire leading prepaid debit card provider NetSpend Holdings Inc. (NTSP) for $1.4 billion. The deal is scheduled to culminate by mid-2013, once the regulatory compliances are fulfilled.

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Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) - Shares of HLF declined sharply on Wednesday, making the stock the one of the biggest losers on the NYSE. The stock closed down 4.93% following it's earnings report that topped analysts' estimates and raised its earnings forecast for this year as sales rose in Asia. Net income increased 12 percent to $117.9 million, or $1.05 a share, from $105.4 million, or 86 cents, a year earlier, the Cayman Islands-based company said yesterday in a statement. Analysts projected profit of $1.03 a share, the average of seven estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Herbalife is fighting accusations from Bill Ackman, founder of New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP, who accuses the company of using inflated pricing, misleading sales information and a complicated incentive structure to hide a pyramid scheme.  The company has repeatedly denied these allegations, saying it is retail-oriented and sells products with unique ingredients.

Millennial Media, Inc. (NYSE: MM) - MM hit a new 52-week low on Wednesday at $8.78 a share. The stock closed with a decline of 37.54% at $8.95.  This decline was due to a disappointing Q4 financial report by the mobile advertising solutions provider.  Adding to the pressure, Morgan Stanley analyst Jordan Monahan cut his rating on the stock today to Equal Weight from Overweight, asserting that competition in the mobile ad space has emerged sooner than previously expected. MM traded 16,677,196 shares on Wednesday, significantly higher than the stock's average of 829,251 shares.

Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP) - ODP shares closed off 16.73% at $4.18 per share on Wednesday on volume of 129,803,834 shares traded.  The company has agreed to combine with rival OfficeMax Inc. (NYSE: OMX) in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion that would transform the office-supply retail sector by helping the No. 2 and No. 3 chains compete against industry behemoth Staples.  The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2013, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.  "This combination will create a stronger, more global, efficient competitor able to meet the growing challenges of our rapidly changing industry," said OfficeMax CEO Ravi Saligram in a call with analysts.

Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) - SPLS saw it's shares decline 7.17% to close Wednesday at $13.60.  The office supply retailer saw it's share tumble as of it's top rivals merging & erased nearly all of the stocks' Tuesday gains.  Nomura analyst Aram Rubinson stated Staples would eventually be a winner as the company stands to pick up sales from store closings and it would also stand to benefit from contract sales that "shake out" from the merger.  While the terms of the deal weren't known at the time of his report, Rubinson said the potential benefit to Staples would be similar regardless of the structure and price paid.

Bank of America Corporation. (NYSE: BAC) - Bank of America Corp was yet another loser on the NYSE yesterday closing down 3.20%. The stock reached a high of $12.29 earlier in the trading day before following the overall market indices lower. Trading volume was unusually high with over 2.7 million shares traded. Plug Power Inc. engages in the design, development, commercialization, and manufacture of fuel cell systems for the industrial off-road markets worldwide. One month ago shares of plug were trading at more than double its current price at $0.59.  On Tuesday the company disclosed Chief Executive Brian Moynihan's pay increased 73 percent in 2012 from the previous year to $12.1 million, as the bank gave him a bigger package of stock awards.  The second-largest U.S. bank gave Moynihan a raise when other CEOs on Wall Street received a pay cut, after Bank of America's stock soared in 2012 and it made progress in resolving lawsuits from the financial crisis.  

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