by Marc Bastow | May 29, 2012 5:28 pm
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) came out energized from the long weekend, then proceeded to continue its dominance of the headlines with yet another cratering day, shedding 9% to close the day around $29. FB now has lost more than a quarter of its opening-day value.
Facebook reportedly is considering a buyout of Opera Software, a developer of browsers for desktops and mobile devices for $1 billion. Also, The New York Times reported murmurs of the development of a Facebook smartphone after the company hired former Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) employees. To round out the day’s news, FB options debuted with a record-setting flurry of activity, as traders bet the beaten-down stock has farther to fall.
Outside the social giant, U.S. investors came off the Memorial Day weekend encouraged by signs that Greece and Spain are working toward resolving their recent political and banking crises, and the sentiment was enough to offset news about a decline in consumer confidence — all the markets closed higher than Friday, with the Dow gaining for only the fifth time in May. The Dow finished up 1% to close at 12,580, the S&P 500 increased 1.11% to 1,332, and the Nasdaq gained 1.18% to close at 2,871.
All but two Dow stocks — Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) — headed higher Tuesday, with Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) rallying up nearly 3% after Chinese officials indicated they are prepared for a stimulus package to help grow the slowing Chinese economy.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) continued a recent climb, advancing 4%, as did Citigroup (NYSE:C), up just over 2% on the day. As a group, financial stocks fared well, with JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) also closing in positive territory.
U.S. economic news due later this week includes the May jobs report, as well as key readings on manufacturing and auto sales. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney forecast that employers added 150,000 jobs in May, that unemployment remained at 8.1%, and that markets are bound to move during the week in advance of the news.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing. he was long XOM and AAPL.
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