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Stocks Slide on Fed Fears, Dow Ends Super Tuesday Streak

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

The Dow ended its 20-Tuesday winning streak as stocks slid this afternoon on concerns about the Federal Reserve slowing its bond buying program. All three major indexes closed down by 0.5%. The largest piece of economic data out today was the Commerce Department's report on the trade deficit for April. The report said the deficit widened $40.3 billion which was less than the $41.0 billion which was expected. It was still an increase over the $38.8 billion in March. Tomorrow's biggest number will be the ADP payroll report.

Dollar General (DG) dropped more than 8% today after releasing its quarterly report. Same-store sales climbed 2.6% and profits rose 13% from a year ago, but the company lowered the top of its outlook range. For the quarter gone by Dollar General earned 71-cents a share, right in line with estimates. Revenue also came in right around the consensus at $4.23 billion. The company echoed many of its counterparts saying shoppers are necessities more than non-essentials. It also sounded a familiar theme this season that a chilly spring hurt sales.

ExactTarget (ET) skyrocketed more than 50% on news of a takeover. Salesforce.com (CRM) has agreed to buy the company for about $2.5 billion, a 53% premium on yesterday's closing price. ExactTarget was founded in 2000 and headquartered in Indianapolis. It helps companies reach customers on social networks through mobile devices. Salesforce.com says it plans to integrate those services into its own mix of products. Salesforce.com is the biggest maker of online sales management tools.

G-III Apparel (GIII) shot up more than 20% on its earnings report which was released after yesterday's closing bell. G-III surprised analysts with a profit of 5-cents a share while expectations had been for a loss of 5-cents. Revenue rose 19% which was only modestly higher than expected, but the company has increased its outlook. G-III has licensing deals with a number of designer brands like Calvin Klein where it's planning a new line of swimwear. It's also going to launch an Ivanka Trump clothing brand. Prior today's climb the stock was already up 27% year-to-date.

Infiniti Pharmaceuticals (INFI) leapt more than 23% on a buy recommendation. Piper Jaffray says it's maintaining a $50 price target on the stock and continues to list it as an overweight. Infiniti had in fact climbed above $50 several months ago. But yesterday it hit a nadir at less than $16.50. The Piper Jaffray report said the stock is "too cheap to ignore."

Meanwhile Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) plummeted more than 18% today. The company says AstraZeneca, its partner in the development of rheumatoid arthritis treatment fostamatinib, has decided not to seek regulatory approval for the drug. In addition AstraZeneca is returning the compound's rights to Rigel. This is the second large drop recently for shares of Rigel. The stock tumbled in April after announcing mixed results in trials for Fostamatinib. At this point, Rigel doesn't have any approved products.