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These were the best performing Carolinas-based stocks included in the Capital Investment Cos./Nottingham index of public companies for the week that ended Dec. 16. (Stocks trading for less than $5 are excluded.)

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals BCRX  12.5% JMP Securities upgraded the drug company’s stock; with 16% of shares sold short, some may feel squeezed?
First Bancorp FBNC  2.8% — Southern Pines-based bank is best Carolinas stock in the last four weeks, up 16%.
Live Oak Bancshares LOB  2.7% – Innovative Wilmington lender of small business loans trades below 52-week high, unlike most N.C. bank stocks.

Weakest performers:
Cempra CEMP  (-9.1%)CEO Prabhavathi Fernandes resigned after a decade at drug discovery company, replaced by board member David Zaccardelli.
Nucor NUE   (-7.2%) – Charlotte steel maker bought conduit manufacturer for $335 million. Shares are up 56% in last 52 weeks.
World Acceptance WLRD  (-6.6%) – Greenville, S.C.-based finance company’s investors take profits with shares gaining 65% in last year.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.
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