Stock Market News Today: Indexes Climb Ahead of FOMC Meeting

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Stock market news today, Dec. 16: U.S. stocks jumped today ahead of an announcement by the FOMC Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.63% to 1,786.54 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.82% to 15,884.57, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.71% to 4,029.52.

Both gold and crude oil closed up today. Gold settled higher for a second consecutive session, closing up about 1% at $1,244.40 per ounce, while light sweet crude oil for January delivery closed above $97, up $0.88 to $97.48 per barrel, with protest in Libya raising concerns about oil production there.

In other energy news, L&L Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: LLEN), which has been on a trading halt since November, reported second-quarter earnings of $0.03 per share, down from $0.21 per share a year prior.

L&L Energy's revenue was $43 million, a 6% decline from the $45.5 million in revenue the same quarter a year prior. Coal production was up 60% to 211,000 tons.

Consumer Stock News Today

In consumer news today, booksellers like Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) are hoping that the trend in sluggish e-book sales that has prevailed this year continues through the holiday season and pushes consumers toward hard copies.

BKS is fairly flat this session, recently recovering from a dip to a day low of $13.74 to trade down about 0.2% at $14.05.

In other consumer stocks news, eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) shares are more than 3% higher today after a very bullish Barron's article that noted a significant rise in earnings for the company.

Barron's points out that Wall Street's average price target is near $62, hinting at a roughly 20% upside gain. EBAY is trading in a 52-week range of $52.01 to $53.29.

Healthcare Stocks News Today

In the healthcare sector today, Endo Health Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: ENDP) says it will acquire NuPathe Inc. (Nasdaq: PATH) for $2.85 per share, or about $105 million in cash. ENDP is up about 3% at $65.90 this afternoon; PATH is up more than 43% at $3.29.

NuPathe shareholders will also receive additional cash payments of up to $3.15 per share if specified NuPathe's migraine treatment ZECUITY are achieved over time.

Finally, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE ADR: GSK) shares are up about 1% today after it said it has initiated a voluntary open offer to increase its stake in its publicly listed subsidiary in India to up to 75% from 50.7% at a price of about $50 per share while keeping the company publicly listed.

Technology News Today: AOL Denies Patch Closure

And among technology movers today, AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) has held up about 1% this session after the company denied reports that it plans to wind down its hyper-local news sites, Patch.

The New York Times reported earlier that AOL was closing the sites, even as CEO Tim Armstrong said last week the company was exploring ways to save the business.

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