by InvestorPlace Staff | March 14, 2012 4:53 pm
After Tuesday’s late-day leap on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s latest no-change policy statement — which was also widely perceived as more optimistic — equity investors sat back on Wednesday and let things settle down.
Today’s close was far more muted, with the Dow Jones Industrials rising a mere 0.12%, or 16.4 points, to 13,194. The S&P 500 Index slipped by a like 0.12%, or 1.7 points, to 1,394.3. And the Nasdaq squeaked out a 0.03% gain, or 0.85 points, to 3,040.7.
Notable among the heavily traded names on Wednesday was Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), which was in the news all day for all the wrong reasons. A blistering farewell by a departing executive published as an op-ed in today’s New York Times, called into question the firm’s culture and ethics. Why this came as a revelation to investors is anyone’s guess, but nevertheless GS got hit hard, closing down some 3.35%, to $120.37.
Another big financial institution that got slammed — but perhaps for more clear reasons — was MetLife (NYSE:MET). It was one of just four banks that failed the Fed’s banking stress tests, the results of which were released Tuesday after the bell. Most closely associated with insurance, MetLife also owns a banking company, and therein lies the problem. The insurer protested that it’s in the midst of selling its banking unit and was being unfairly tarred. Still, investors have more than one reason to be cautious of MetLife these days.
It wound up a deep 5.83% lower, closing at $37.16. At least it had company among its peers: Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) also fell, by 2.36%, to $61.58.
Check out recaps from previous trading days here.
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