Dec. 19 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks enjoy big two-day rally as Washington inches closer to a fiscal cliff deal, Oracle beats quarterly forecasts on higher sales, Instant backlash for Instagram, Knight Capital picks winner, Nielsen, Arbitron in ratings bonanza; Greece gets upgrade. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Wall Street puts together its strongest two-day gain in a month as investors bet on a positive conclusion to the fiscal cliff; blue chips seeing their first back-to-back double-digit gain since July and the rest of the market - up more than one percent. Oracle's results came out after the close. The business software company beat sales and profit forecasts thanks to a boost in new contracts. Sticking with tech: Instant backlash for Instagram. The photo sharing website acquired by Facebook announces a new policy, saying it has the right to sell pictures without notice or payment to users who upload those photos. Facebook has been in hot water before for changes to privacy settings and attempts to monetize its billion or so users. Shares of Facebook, however, up 3.6 percent on the day. Knight Capital has selected its White Knight. The board has agreed to sell the Wall Street firm to stakeholder Getco Holdings, according to two people close to the negotiations. One source said Getco upped its already sweetened cash and stock bid of $1.8 billion, trumping a $1.6 billion cash offer from Virtu. Knight finished the session with a modest gain on speculation the deal was close to getting done. Nielsen, the powerhouse behind television ratings data, is buying Arbitron, the king of radio statistics. The $1.26 billion deal was a ratings hit with investors. Shares of Arbitron soared almost 24 percent, while Nielsen gained more than 4 percent. On to Europe now where the debt rating for Greece was upgraded. Standard and Poor's likes the progress being made to keep the indebted country in the euro zone. The upgrade came after Europe went home for the day with blue chips approaching a 17-month high.