by Marc Bastow | September 12, 2012 5:30 pm
You know it’s a strange day on Wall Street when Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares roar while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) trades up just a fraction, but the entire trading day turned out a little topsy-turvy as a strong morning rally stalled, giving way to more modest gains across the board on the day.
Facebook rallied up more than 7% after CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his first public interview since the company’s IPO at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. “Zuck” announced his disappointment with the stock’s performance and provided investors with a glimpse of Facebook’s mobile future, cheering weary investors. The upbeat outlook helped trigger a rally in shares of social game services company Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) which rose more than 10% on the day.
Apple managed to move the needle up a little on the day as it rolled out the highly anticipated iPhone 5 to the world. Perhaps because the potential value of iPhone sales might already have been baked into the stock, Apple shares moved ahead just more than 1% on the day.
Meanwhile, events in Europe led markets up to start the day as a German court backed Europe’s rescue plan, dismissing concerns over the legality of the European Stability Mechanism and allowing investors to believe the effort has a chance to stabilize the EU. The result was an early market rally.
However, the gains turned sideways on the charts as investors decided to grow cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve Board meetings that run through Thursday afternoon. Investors are hoping for good news on another round of easing from Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday afternoon.
In the end, the Nasdaq was the big winner, rising 0.32% to 3,114, while the S&P rose 0.21% to end at 1,436 and the Dow finished higher fractionally at 13,344.
In other news, office products and services company Office Depot (NYSE:ODP) rallied for the second time in as many weeks, this time with a 20% upward move on seemingly no news. The shares were propelled as 19 million shares traded hands, nearly quadrupling ODP’s average daily volume. Competitor OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX) rose just more than 2% on the day, and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) was up about 1%.
Clothing retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) and American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) both finished up on the day, with ANF reaffirming its 2012 guidance numbers within range of Street estimates, and AEO declaring a special dividend of $1.50 per share to be added to its regular 11-cent quarterly dividend later this month. ANF finished up more than 5% while AEO rose just more than 3% on the day.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.
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