by InvestorPlace Staff | April 9, 2012 5:13 pm
Wall Street finally got to react to last Friday’s employment report after having to wait out the long Easter weekend. And as expected, it had little praise. The far-worse-than-expected hiring in March prompted investors to sell off stocks at the first opportunity on Monday. But on the strength of a hefty sale of more than 800 patents to Microsoft — to the tune of $1.1 billion — AOL (NYSE:AOL) positively levitated.
While the Dow Jones Industrials bounced around more than 150 points lower at times today and closed down 130 points, or 1%, AOL soared 43% to $26.40, its highest point in more than a year. Buoying the stock were hopes that AOL would quickly make good on its assertion that it would distribute a “significant” portion of the proceeds back to long-suffering shareholders, thanks to the deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Another beaten-down stock that defied the trend Monday was grocery chain SuperValu (NYSE:SVU), which reports earnings Tuesday. Down over 34% year-to-date, the stock pivoted to a 3.7% gain today, perhaps on some shorts getting out before the earnings report, just in case. And there are plenty of shorts. The Wall Street Journal reported today that “Bets against the supermarket chain’s shares gaining in value have jumped 41% since the end of 2011 to 72.9 million shares. That is one-third of all the company’s shares outstanding and a considerably high number.”
But as hard as it tried to color its cheeks with some rouge, Avon (NYSE:AVP) just couldn’t get investors to buy into its announcement that Sheri McCoy would become its next CEO, succeeding Andrea Jung after a long and painful search. AVP closed 73 cents lower, or 3.1%.
Check out recaps from previous trading days here.
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