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Stocks Slide into the Close

The market opened significantly higher, but steadily declined through the day. The major averages closed near session lows, down almost 1% across the board. Overseas, the Nikkei moved fractionally lower and markets in Europe started the day higher, but closed in the red.

Cooper Tire and Rubber (CTB) was one of the day's biggest gainers, skyrocketing more than 40% on word of a takeover bid. India's Apollo Tyres has offered to buy the company for $35 a share, or about $2.5 billion. Ohio-based Cooper is the world's 11th biggest tire company by sales. The deal would give Apollo its first access to the U.S. market. Reports of talks between the two companies first surfaced last October.

Gigamon (GIMO) shares also soared over 40% as the stock made its market debut. Shares quickly rose from their IPO price of $19, which was the midpoint of the expected range. Gigamon makes data traffic management software. The company was valued at about $680 million at the opening price. Nearly 7 million shares were offered.

Talk about looking good. Shares of Ulta (ULTA) climbed 15% higher on the company's quarterly results which were released after yesterday's closing bell. The salon and cosmetics chain posted earnings of 65-cents a share beating estimates by 3-cents on revenue that was also higher than expected. Both earnings and revenues are up roughly 20% from a year ago. Ulta says store traffic is increasing as shoppers look for products and brands they may not find in department stores. Also, the company reported that its online sales are booming, with a 70% increase over the past year.

Tech licensing company Rambus (RMBS) closed 6% higher after settling a patent case dating back to 2006 with South Korean chip-maker SK Hynix. The two companies have now signed a 5-year licensing deal that will net Rambus over $200 million. Even prior to today's climb, Rambus shares are up 65% year-to-date. Right now they're trading at a new 52-week high.

GameStop (GME) gave back some of its gains from yesterday falling nearly 3%. It spiked 8% yesterday on anticipation over Microsoft's (MSFT) new Xbox One and Sony's (SNE) Playstation 4 game consoles. The chain is also benefiting from Microsoft’s announcement that it won't charge a fee for people who play pre-owned games on the new Xbox. GameStop's stock has more than doubled in the past year, up 103%.

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