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Some of Monday's midday movers:
The purchase of the stake means Starboard will become the second activist investor within months to push for a change in strategy.
*Oracle rallies after results; Red Hat up late. The Nasdaq declined slightly on weakness in tech shares, though its loss was limited by a rally in Oracle Corp shares a day after the company's results.
The metal has suffered its worst year in two decades, and some think Fed tapering threatens gold even more because it reduces inflation threat.
*Facebook off on plan to offer shares; results lift Oracle. NEW YORK, Dec 19- The Dow and the S&P 500 barely budged on Thursday as investors paused after a strong rally in the previous session that drove both indexes to record closing highs.
Decreasing sales and fewer visitors aren't the only problems Red Lobster is facing: Expensive shrimp are crimping the company's bottom line.
*Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops. *Target cyber breach hits 40 mln payment cards; stock falls.
Some of Thursday's midday movers.
Dec 19- Darden Restaurants Inc said it would spin off or sell its struggling Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from hedge fund Barington Capital Group, and warned that earnings would fall more than expected this year due to weak demand.
Dec 19- Darden Restaurants Inc said it would sell or spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain, bowing to pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group after reporting another quarter of sliding profits.
*Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops. NEW YORK, Dec 19- U.S. stocks were set to open lower Thursday following data showing a rise in jobless claims, having hit record highs a day earlier after the Federal Reserve said the economy was strong enough for it to begin paring its massive stimulus.
Companies are making headlines before the bell Thursday.
U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower opening on Thursday after stocks surged yesterday on news from the Fed.
Dec 19- Darden Restaurants Inc, under pressure from activist investor Barington Capital Group because of sliding profits, said it would sell or spin off its struggling Red Lobster chain.
*Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops. *The Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Dec. 14 at 8:30 a.m. EST.
Even with stocks surging to record highs, traders see upside for the market into year end and they are looking to Santa to provide some of the lift.
"It was said the recession was officially over in 2009, but consumers aren't behaving that way," one analyst said.
Dec 17- Barington Capital Group, an investor pushing for change at Darden Restaurants Inc, on Tuesday released its detailed plan for improving the parent of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.
Beginning with Applebee's and Buffalo Wild Wings, many restaurants are looking to tablets as a way to boost sales and reduce wait times.
Traders are widely divided on what the Fed will do next week, which raises the odds for a volatile market reaction.