by Marc Bastow | August 21, 2012 5:14 pm
Well, that was an interesting ride.
The S&P 500 rose to its highest level in four years … right before plunging downward just before noon. Traders blamed an “overbought” market that had been riding a rising tide on low volume, and many had predicted a correction.
Notably leading the dive was Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), coming off Monday’s record-breaking day to fall more than 1%, resting on a still stratospheric price of $656 per share — still enough for Apple to retain the title of most valuable stock in history (not adjusted for inflation, anyway).
The S&P 500 finished down 0.35% Tuesday, with the other indices following suit — the Dow Jones fell 0.51% to 13,203, while the Nasdaq lost 0.29% to 3,067.
Earnings releases and corporate news propelled individual stocks during the day, including after the close.
Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) was down about 3% in early after-hours trading after a dreadful earnings report that included a disappointing full-year outlook.
Troubled Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) shot down after reporting poor second-quarter earnings and sales. Profits plummeted 90%, revenues slipped 3%, the company announced it was suspending its share repurchase program and it withdrew earnings guidance for the remainder of the year. BBY shares ended the day down 4%.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) took it on the chin to the tune of 4% as Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, sold off shares to pare his holdings from around 42 million shares to just over 5 million.
Bookseller Barnes and Noble (NYSE:BKS) lost ground after announcing first quarter losses that at least were not as bad as expected by analysts. Sales of ebooks and digital content for the Nook reader dropped, as did college bookstore sales. However, the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise lifted book sales, helping to staunch some of the bleeding. Still, shares dropped more than 3% on the day.
How about some good news?
Retailer Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) rose nearly 20% after beating Street estimates on revenues and earnings. Also, InvestorPlace Real America Index component Daktronics (NASDAQ:DAKT) rose nearly 17% after announcing it easily beat analyst estimates for first-quarter revenue and earnings.
Earnings releases Wednesday include Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL).
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.
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