(By Balachander) U.S. stocks closed on a slightly mixed note after elections in Greece and France heightened uncertainty over Europe's debt crisis.
S&P 500 Index edged 0.04 percent higher to finish at 1,369.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.23 percent to end at 13,008.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.05 percent to close at 2,957.76.
In France, Socialist Francois Hollande unseated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. In Greece, elections resulted in a hung parliament, with no single party able to get clear majority. Greek voters punished two mainstream parties - New Democracy and the Socialist rival PASOK - that supported the austerity measures and the bailout deals.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: VRTX, CTSH, AIG, TSN, TLB, GGC, FTR
In corporate news, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) soared 55.2 percent after a mid-stage study showed that the company's cystic-fibrosis treatment Kalydeco in combination with its experimental treatment for the disease improved some patients' ability to breathe.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ:CTSH) plunged 19.16 percent after the IT services company slashed its full-year earnings outlook and guided second quarter below consensus, citing slower than expected acceleration in demand. The Teaneck, New Jersey-based company now expects non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $3.62 from prior expectations of $3.69. Revenue is now projected to be at least $7.34 billion from at least $7.53 billion projected earlier. For the second quarter, CTSH forecasts non-GAAP EPS of 87 cents on revenue of at least $1.79 billion. Analysts' expect EPS of 83 cents on revenue of $1.84 billion.
American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) fell 3.11 percent after the insurer said the U.S. Department of the Treasury has priced an offering of 163.93 million shares of AIG stock at $30.50 per share. The transaction lowers the Treasury's stake in AIG to 63 percent from 70 percent.
Talbots Inc. (NYSE:TLB) lost 6.1 percent. The retailer of women's apparel received a $3.05 per share proposal from Sycamore Partners Management LLC. The latest offer is up from $3.00 made by the private-equity firm last year.