by Marc Bastow | May 17, 2012 5:27 pm
Facebook came right out after the bell Thursday to announce an opening price of $38 per share for its initial public offering, which hits the markets Friday.
Of course, that bell stopped the bleeding of the rest of the social media world, which took it on the chin all day as investors sold out of Facebook’s lesser brethren. LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Pandora (NASDAQ:P) both plunged more than 7%, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) shed about 5% and Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) lost about 4%.
The rest of the market also struggled for a fifth straight day, as the Dow ended the day down 1.25% to 12,443, the S&P finished lower by 1.5% to 1,304 and the Nasdaq really stunk it up, dropping 2.1% to 2,814.
As seems to be the case almost every day, concerns about Greece’s place in the 17-nation eurozone continued to weigh on investors, even as European leaders showed support for keeping Greece in the fold. However, Greece was warned that it must stick with unpopular austerity measures if it wants to continue receiving help.
The euro news again overshadowed good news on the U.S. economic front, as the foreclosure rate on homes fell during April to the lowest number since July 2007.
Additional good news came from several members of the retail sector. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) posted increases in both revenues and earnings, and WMT shares were rewarded with a 4% bump on the day. Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) gained 3% as the company announced a profit of $189 million in the quarter, a far cry from last year’s $170 million loss.
Not all retailers shared in the gains, however, as Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) and Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD) both beat analyst estimates but lost ground on future earnings previews. Dollar Tree said it expected earnings of between 87 cents and 93 cents a share, lower than anticipated, and the stock dropped 6%. Limited Brands also dumped some disappointing news Wednesday, as it forecast current quarter-earnings at a worse-than-expected 40 to 45 cents per share. LTD finished Thursday trading with a 4% loss.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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