Financial giant Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) gained 6.8% on Wednesday despite a 58% drop in profit. Even though Q4 earnings fell from $3.79 per share in 2010 to $1.84 last year, the result still was higher than the cellar-dwelling Wall Street expectation for $1.23. GS shares are closing in on their December high slightly above $105, finishing Wednesday trading at $104.31.
Sector brethren Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) caught most of the lightning in GS’s bottle, climbing roughly the same as Goldman Sachs despite reports that it might be laying off more employees after recently cutting 1,600 workers.
Embattled search giant Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) was up more than 3% today after Tuesday’s announcement that co-founder Jerry Yang was stepping down from his position on Yahoo’s board of directors. Yang was considered a roadblock to a possible sale or merger, and his departure was interpreted by many investors as a sign that Yahoo is on the trading block. YHOO shares finished at $15.92.
Positivity on the German front also helped to boost the solar sector Wednesday. The world’s No. 1 solar market is expected to make cuts to subsidies, but a Deutsche Bank analyst said those cuts might be lower than thought. Names like Suntech Power (NYSE:STP, +15.3%), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR, +7.5%) and Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL, +3.9%) jumped on the news.
- Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR): Up 9.9% ($3.66) to $40.72.
- ING Groep (NYSE:ING): Up 6.7% (54 cents) to $8.65.
- Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT): Up 6% (91 cents) to $16.18.
- State Street (NYSE:STT): Down 6.6% ($2.80) to $39.95.
- Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL): Down 6.4% ($3.67) to $54.03.
- Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Down 6.2% (57 cents) to $8.65.
Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out recaps from previous trading days here.