by Kyle Woodley | February 15, 2012 4:22 pm
“Fear” was the word du jour Wednesday, as a double whammy of concerns about Greece and Iran sent markets lower and oil prices higher.
The Dow Jones recorded its steepest drop of the year — 97 points, still less than 1% — amid continued worries about Greece’s sovereign debt. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each also shed about half a percent. Meanwhile, reports of Iranian suspension of crude oil to several EU countries sent Brent crude prices up about 2% — but the Iranian government denied the report, though Brent crude still finished up almost about 1% at about $188.40 per barrel.
Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) fell more than 17% Wednesday following its first quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded stock. The company had year-over-year gains of 59% and 26% in revenues and bookings, respectively, and adjusted earnings of 5 cents per share topped Wall Street expectations. However, a projected slowdown of bookings growth for 2012 — to a range of 16% to 25% — rattled investors.
Kellogg (NYSE:K) gained a little over 5% after the company agreed to purchase the Pringles snack brand from Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) following the dissolution of a previous deal between P&G and Diamond Foods (NASDAQ:DMND). Diamond Foods is embroiled in an accounting scandal and has placed its CEO, Michael Mendes, on “administrative leave.” With the Pringles purchase, Kellogg will become the world’s second-largest snack company behind PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP).
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.
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