Movers roundup: Netflix, Flextronics

Netflix Inc.’s stock hit a record high after it posted an impressive fourth-quarter performance and gave a forecast calling for millions more people to sign up for the DVD rental and Internet video streaming service this year.

Shares of Flextronics International Ltd., an electronics manufacturer, slid as investors were disappointed by the company’s fiscal third-quarter results. [Read the full article]

U.S. stocks dropped on Thursday as poor outlooks from Motorola and Qualcomm dented optimism in the technology sector while worries about Greece’s fiscal health dragged on sentiment.

Qualcomm Inc (NasdaqGS:QCOM – News) shares tumbled 14.2 percent to $40.48 and Motorola Inc (NYSE:MOT – News) slid 12.4 percent to $6.48 after both companies’ earnings and outlooks fell short of expectations.

“They did exactly what was supposed to happen with the type of earnings report that they had,” said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner of Meridian Equity Partners in New York.

Several bellwethers this quarter have beaten modest expectations and still have been viewed unfavorably by the market, so these dismal reports were viewed even more negatively. The PHLX Semiconductor Index (^SOXX – News)lost 3 percent. [Read the full article]

Embattled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke won confirmation for a second term Thursday, but only by the closest vote ever for the crucial post and after withering criticism from lawmakers for bailing out Wall Street while other Americans suffered in recession.

The Senate confirmed Bernanke for a new four-year term by a 70-30 vote, a seemingly solid majority but 14 votes worse than the closest previous vote for a Fed chairman.

President Barack Obama hailed the Senate’s action and praised Bernanke’s “wisdom and steady leadership.”

The battle over Bernanke’s confirmation has been a test of central bank independence, a crucial element if the Fed is to carry out unpopular but economically essential policies. Its decisions on interest rates can have immense consequences, from the success or failure of the largest companies to the typical home-buyer’s ability to get an affordable loan to the price of cereal at the grocery or gas at the corner station. [Read the full article]

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