The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.67% at 12,845, while the Nasdaq eased 0.39% to 2,935 and the S&P 500 settled down 0.67% to 1,354.
Concerns in Spain drove markets early, as the benchmark Spanish 10-year bond yield soared over 6% for the first time in weeks while European countries wondered how to handle the situation in Greece, where a coalition government has yet to form after last weekend’s elections.
Perhaps sensing the market was oversold on the morning news, markets began their slow climb up during the midmorning on a solid earnings report from AOL (NYSE:AOL) and the continuing aura from Tuesday’s report from Disney (NYSE:DIS). AOL reported earnings of 22 cents per share, well in excess of estimates for 4 cents, and AOL shares were lifted handsomely, up 3.5%. Meanwhile, DIS moved ahead 1.6% a day after dazzling investors with its own solid operating results.
Laying low Wednesday were under-siege Dow components Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C). A Citigroup investor filed a lawsuit against directors over alleging breaches of fiduciary duties by awarding more than $54 million of compensation in 2011 to certain top executives, including almost $15 million to its CEO, Vikrim Pandit. C shares were down 2.75% to close at $30.41, their worst closing price since early February. Meanwhile, BAC slid less than a percent as shareholders approved CEO Brian Moynihan’s $7 million executive pay package.
Technology heavyweight Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) reported third-quarter earnings of $2.2 billion, or 40 cents per share, that were up 20% over the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings of 48 cents per share were a penny better than analyst estimates, but it wasn’t enough to please investors, who knocked CSCO shares down about 8% in after-hours trading.
Investors also weren’t kind to Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), which reported strong growth in first-quarter earnings but forecast second-quarter earnings not to analysts’ liking thanks to concerns of weakness in travel to Europe. Priceline projected earnings of $7.20 to $7.40 in the second quarter, less than the average $7.43 estimate compiled by Bloomberg. PCLN shares were down more than 3% after the bell.
- James River (NASDAQ:JRCC): Up 11.1% (42 cents) to $4.20.
- Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI): Up 9.7% (74 cents) to $8.34. (Read more about ACI here.)
- Arena Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:ARNA): Up 7% (24 cents) to $3.66.
- Bon-Ton Stores (NASDAQ:BONT): Down 10.4% (62 cents) to $5.34.
- Renren (NYSE:RENN): Down 5.2% (32 cents) to $5.82.
- Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI): Down 4.8% (77 cents) to $15.25.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long PBI, CSCO and AOL.