by Marc Bastow | July 30, 2012 4:59 pm
As the athletic world descends on London, investors are more glued to the goings on in Washington, D.C., where the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Frankfurt, Germany, where the European Central Bank will convene on Thursday. Investors are hoping for a sign from either or both bodies on how they intend to boost their economies.
That backdrop helped keep trading in U.S. markets in a very narrow range before falling slightly by day’s end. The Dow and S&P 500 were lower marginally to finish at 13,073 and 1,385, respectively, while the Nasdaq fell 0.41% to end at 2,945.
Social stocks Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) continued to fall in tandem, with both shares losing another 2% by day’s end.
Traders went right back to buying up shares of Sprint (NYSE:S), which rose more than 4% on Monday, continuing its recent surge spurred by stronger revenue and an increase in subscribers. Sprint stock is up over 80% so far this year despite losing money.
Investors also took another look at SuperValu (NYSE:SVU) as the company announced a corner-office shakeup, ousting CEO Craig Herkert and handing the reins of the struggling supermarket chain to Wayne Sales. SuperValu rose from the ashes on the news to gain over 12% on the day.
Automaker Chrysler (PINK:FIATY) reported a strong profit for the second quarter, replacing a loss from the same period last year, on a 20% jump in worldwide sales, including 24% in the U.S. The good news filtered over the Ford (NYSE:F), which gained over 1% on the day despite announcing disappointing earnings earlier this month.
Retailer Martha Stewart Living (NYSE:MSO) posted a net loss in it first quarter of $2.7 million, less than the $2.9 million from last year, and better than Street estimates, on a weakness in its publishing operations. Despite pushing back its profit targets for the remainder of the year, the stock gained fractionally.
ATM-maker Diebold (NYSE:DBD) was punished for missing Street estimates and lowering its outlook for the remainder of the year, as shares fell over 9% on the news.
Financial services company CIT (NYSE:CIT) went the other way despite losing $70 million during the second quarter, on charges relating to the retirement of over $4 billion in debt. CIT managed to lose less than analysts expected, and its shares rose over 3% for the day.
Finally, Ohio-based full-service family-style restaurant chain Frisch‘s (NYSE:FRS) jolted investors with a special dividend payout of $9.50 per share. The company, which operates under the name Frisch’s Big Boy, completed a sale of its Golden Corral chain and is flush with excess cash. The company will continue to maintain its 16 cents per quarter regular payout. Shares traded up 18% on the day, providing yet another surprise for investors.
Earnings reports of note on Tuesday (July 31) include Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Goodyear Tire (NYSE:GT), and InvestorPlace Real America Index components Entergy (NYSE:ETR), Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Cummins (NYSE:CMI).
Marc Bastow in 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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